Mother, Creature, Kin

What We Learn from Nature's Mothers in a Time of Unraveling

Mother, Creature, Kin

What We Learn from Nature's Mothers in a Time of Unraveling

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Available April 8, 2025

Luminous nonfiction about the natural world from essayist Chelsea Steinauer-Scudder, who asks: what can other-than-human creatures teach us about mothering, belonging, caregiving, loss, and resiliency?

What does it mean to be a mother in an era of climate catastrophe? And what can we learn from the plants and creatures who mother at the edges of their world's unraveling?

Becoming a mother in this time means bringing life into a world that appears to be coming undone. Drawing upon ecology, mythology, and her own experiences as a new mother, Steinauer-Scudder confronts what it means to "mother": to do the good work of being in service to the living world. What if we could all mother the places we live and the beings with whom we share those places? And what if they also mother us?

In prose that teems with longing, lyricism, and knowledge of ecology, Steinauer-Scudder writes of the silent flight and aural maps of barn owls, of nursing whales, of real and imagined forests, of tidal marshes, of ancient single-celled organisms, and of newly planted gardens. The creatures inhabiting these stories teach us about centering, belonging, entanglement, edgework, homemaking, and how to imagine the future. Rooted in wonder while never shying away from loss, Mother, Creature, Kin reaches toward a language of inclusive care learned from creatures living at the brink.

Writing in the tradition of Camille Dungy, Elizabeth Rush, and Margaret Renkl, Steinauer-Scudder invites us into the daily, obligatory, sacred work of care. Despair and fear will not save the world any more than they will raise our children, and while we don't know what the future holds, we know it will need mothers. As the very ground shifts beneath our feet, what if we apprenticed ourselves to the creaturely mothers with whom we share this beloved home?

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506495477
  • eBook ISBN 9781506495484
  • Dimensions 5.75 x 8.75
  • Pages 302
  • Publication Date April 8, 2025
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