Waiting in the wings: portrait of a queer motherhood

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Firebrand Books, 1997 - Social Science - 128 pages
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Cherrie Moraga, the celebrated Chicana lesbian writer, has crafted a jewel of a book in Waiting In The Wings: Portrait of a Queer Motherhood. This is the story of "one small human being's struggle for survival", the author's two-and-one-half pound premature baby boy.

While the specifics belong to Moraga and her loved ones -- her large close-knit biological clan; her long-term partner; the child's father -- the tale is told in common with every woman who has experienced the wonder and terror of pregnancy, the trauma of a child's near-death. What is uncommon is that the mother is a lesbian, a writer, a Chicana -- all in the same breath of her storytelling.

"Lesbians don't make babies with our lovers", she writes. "Our blood doesn't mix". What does mix in Waiting In The Wings are blood and queer relations, Mexican Catholicism and Indian ceremony, butch and femme, life and death -- creating the carne y huesos not only of a baby, but of a family. Familia the author holds to in the grip of labor, sister in one hand, lover in the other. Family whose history she sees written in the dried parchment that is a dying uncle's skin.

"I am trying to write about the impossible. The ordinary beginning and ending of a life", Cherrie Moraga tells us. So ordinary, in fact, that perhaps Waiting In The Wings is not that "queer" after all.

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WAITING IN THE WINGS: Portrait of a Queer Motherhood

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An honest, introspective memoir of evolving lesbian motherhood. When Chicana lesbian writer Moraga (coeditor, This Bridge Called My Back, not reviewed) was 40, she decided to have a child. She asked ... Read full review

Waiting in the Wings: Portrait of a Queer Motherhood

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Moraga, coeditor of the classic This Bridge Called My Back (1983), has written a memoir of the birth of her son. Through the use of journal entries and other prose styles, Moraga tells the story of ... Read full review


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About the author (1997)

Moraga is Artist-in-Residence at Stanford University.

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