Jessamine Chan’s short stories have appeared in Tin House and Epoch. Her first novel, The School for Good Mothers, is a New York Times bestseller and a Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club pick. She lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter.
As you might imagine, I talk, think, and read about motherhood a lot. That’s been especially true since I began writing my debut novel, The School for Good Mothers, back in 2014, and certainly since my book was published this past January. In all my reading, I gravitate toward female characters who push against the boundaries of polite society, whether they’re fighting for change, instigating their own quiet rebellions, or just trying to survive. I love getting inside the consciousnesses of women who are given space to rage, fight, and yearn on the page. When the character is a mother, there is of course an added degree of tension since what our society and culture expect of mothers is often so limited. One of the very best parts of publishing a book is having the opportunity to share my favorites. Here you’ll find a range of literary mothers weathering storms in their own minds, at the end of the world, and across cultures.