Motherland

Motherland

What I’ve Learnt about Parenthood, Race and Identity

Summary

'This is the kind of book I wish I had access to as a young mum' Nadiya Hussain
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What does it mean to be a parent in a space where you are the minority?

Meandering through a supermarket highway of camembert and baguettes, Priya Joi heard a heart-stopping confession about her daughter's identity that made her entire being implode like a dying star. Confronted with the fact that maybe her daughter was not entirely at peace with her appearance, she suddenly had to grapple not only with motherhood but also how to talk to her kid about race and identity.

In M(other)land, Joi writes powerfully about how her personal and cultural identity intersect with motherhood - and how they inform her identity as a (British-Indian) parent and step-parent. The book is her powerful, witty response to the absence of an inclusive, accessible blueprint for navigating life as a multi-faceted mother. By sharing her own story, she writes into this silence and provides a voice of understanding for all those who fall outside of dominant presentations of 'parenthood' and have never seen themselves or their experiences represented.

M(other)land is a crucial book for anyone trying to navigate the complexities of race and motherhood, who has ever felt 'other', who has struggled to reconcile their past or cultural upbringing with how they raise the next generation. Joi passes on hard-won knowledge that has taken years to learn: the complexity of your identity is just who you are - it's okay to be both, neither, or multiple things at once - instead of fighting it, feeling 'neither' is a strength and a state of mind that you can revel in.
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'A beautifully written memoir and a thought-provoking critical intervention into race and motherhood - we can all learn something from this brilliant must-read book' Julia Samuel, leading British psychotherapist and bestselling author

Reviews

  • 'This is the kind of book I wish I had access to as a young mum'
    Nadiya Hussain

About the author

Priya Joi

Priya Joi is a well-respected science journalist with a career spanning 20 years and has worked for organisations including the World Health Organisation, The Lancet and New Scientist. She reported on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the COVID-19 pandemic and has reported from the field on malaria, HIV, and TB. She has freelanced for The Guardian, BBC and Médecins Sans Frontières, and has chaired and spoken at science conferences. Joi has worked to shine a light on issues of race, sexism and discrimination her entire career. M(other)land is her first book.
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