Author: Sherisa de Groot

Raising Mothers Member Drive

Dear Readers, In 2012, when I was pregnant with my first child, I knew I wanted to create a space where we centered the narratives of parents. Not in the ways we were used to seeing online. I wasn’t interested in the daily documentation of life, of sharing the stories of children without their consent, of selling “stuff” to fill—the parts of you you felt you lost, the parts of you you think you should be, the parts of you left in utter confusion. I didn’t want to take advantage, which unfortunately is central to so much of new parenthood. You have to buy this and this and this and that otherwise you’re not, something. No. Having children actually deepened my curiosity of what makes us, us. Something I’d been drawn to from a young age, listening to the stories my grandmother shared. Listening to the spaces between those stories. Wishing I had more time with her, with a more mature mind to ask her about those spaces. I wanted to make a room for …

Ten Questions for Jessamine Chan

What inspired you to tell this story? I began writing The School for Good Mothers in February 2014. At that time, I was heading into my late thirties and constantly ruminating about whether or not my partner and I should have a child. The biological clock pressure was intense, as was my ambivalence. The other source of inspiration was a New Yorker article by the journalist Rachel Aviv, “Where Is Your Mother?,” which appeared in the magazine late 2013. That mother’s heartbreaking story made me start thinking about the injustices of the family court system and planted a kernel of rage in my mind.  What did you edit out of this book? If you can believe it, the book I sold to my publisher was actually bleeker. Some scenes of death and violence were edited out. I also worked with my editor, Dawn Davis, to streamline the lessons. We cut about 35 pages in total. How did you know you were done? What did you discover about yourself upon completion? Most of my professional experience …

Ten Questions for Jane Wong

What inspired you to tell this story?  My mother! Everything I write and create comes back to her. My memoir is a love song for working-class, low-income immigrant women… I really wanted to spotlight her life and what I’ve learned from her. Her story is also my story. I also wanted to write a memoir that played with form – echoing migration itself. It’s non-linear and tonally textured… just like in real life, I wanted there to be moments where I’m laughing so hard to stop myself from crying. I also think we need more stories that refuse a singular voice; yes, this book is about me growing up in a take-out restaurant, but it’s also about my relationships with toxic men, what it means to fall in love with poetry, and the ferocious of matrilineal wisdom and clairvoyance. What did you edit out of this book? Writing a memoir is definitely a challenge in terms of what you keep in and what you leave out. I really wanted there to be a balance between …

Ten Questions for Neda Toloui-Semnani

What inspired you to tell this story?  The first time I tried to explain the contours of my family and, frankly, my grief was when I was in third grade. I wrote a little story of my father’s death, illustrated it, and then my teacher helped me bind it. I knew then that I’d write this book. Every few years, I’d tell it, again and again. On holidays and family gatherings, my mother or aunts and uncles, cousins and family friends would exchange stories, and I wanted to be the one to record some of them.  Then, after my mother died when I was 31, it felt like the story I had to tell–a way to grieve her loss but also, a way to honor my parents, my family, and the whole of our community. It was also how I learned to write long-form.     What did you edit out of this book? They Said They Wanted Revolution has had several forms, but it really began as my MFA thesis. Hundreds of pages of research and …

Cleyvis Natera | Mama’s Writing

Mama’s Writing is Raising Mothers’ monthly interview series, curated by Starr Davis. What recent writing accomplishment(s) are you most proud of? Was this accomplishment shared and supported by your children? After toiling to publish my first novel for many years (from first sentence to publication, it was a fifteen year journey), I sold my second novel, The Grand Paloma Resort, as a proposal this past summer! It’s truly incredible and wonderful as I didn’t even know it was possible to sell a book before it was finished. When I told my children I sold my second book, their first suggestion was that I get on TIKTOK. I think that means they’re proud! Tell about a time mom-guilt emerged (or emerges) in the midst of your writing process. I don’t have much mom-guilt when it comes to my writing. I worked a full time job the entire time I was writing my first novel and that largely meant waking up at four and five AM just to get some pages down before my family woke up and …