WAITING IN THE WINGS by Cherríe Moraga


Portrait of a Queer Motherhood
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 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 her white lover (who is called Ella here, the Spanish word for ``she'') to help, not so much to be the other mother as to continue to be Moraga's partner and support; inevitably, though, Ella does turn out to be a ``co-mother.'' Moraga asks her much younger Mexican friend Pablo to donate sperm; he too ends up becoming very involved with the baby. Against the odds, Moraga gets pregnant the first time they try. In this memoir, Moraga muses honestly on how she feels about having a boy (at first ambivalent, then pleased). She is also thoughtful on the meaning of blood and family; as a lesbian, she's always created her own ``familia,'' yet she is also quite close to her parents and sister, and it was important to her that her baby's father also be Mexican. Both her sister and Ella are present at Rafael's birth, which is premature, and he fights for his life the first few months. Moraga writes well about the struggle and the exhaustion of daily facing this new loved one's death after months of creating his life. When Rafael is well, Moraga battles to find the energy to write. Her relationship with Ella suffers and Ella moves out, though it seems they may stay together. Some of the writing in this memoir is a bit indulgent, having been culled from journals. However, much of it is powerful, and the journal form does give the narrative a sense of immediacy. A strong, though sometimes scattered, account of a baby's struggle for survival and a mother's struggle to define her own new life.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 1998
ISBN: 1-56341-093-1
Page count: 120pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1997