The Mother Wound by Amani Haydar
‘A magnificent and devastating work of art. There is a raging anger here, and a deep sorrow, but at the core Haydar gives us truths about love. This is one of the most important books I’ve ever read.’ Bri Lee ‘I am from a family of strong women.’
Amani Haydar suffered the unimaginable when she lost her mother in a brutal act of domestic violence perpetrated by her father. Five months pregnant at the time, her own perception of how she wanted to mother (and how she had been mothered) was shaped by this devastating murder. After her mother’s death, Amani began reassessing everything she knew of her parents’ relationship. They had been unhappy for so long – should she have known that it would end like this? A lawyer by profession, she also saw the holes in the justice system for addressing and combating emotional abuse and coercive control. Amani also had to reckon with the weight of familial and cultural context.
Her parents were brought together in an arranged marriage, her mother thirteen years her father’s junior. Her grandmother was brutally killed in the 2006 war in Lebanon, adding complex layers of intergenerational trauma. Writing with grace and beauty, Amani has drawn from this a story of female resilience and the role of motherhood in the home and in the world. In The Mother Wound, she uses her own strength to help other survivors find their voices.
Praise for The Mother Wound ‘Shattering, unforgettable, beautifully told.’ Randa Abdel-Fattah ‘Gripping, transcendent, tender and, at times, infuriating. With a daughter’s heart and a lawyer’s mind, Amani Haydar maps the territory that connects the wars we fight abroad to the wars we endure in our homes.’ Jess Hill