The Mother Hood

De Carvalho, Vanessa
Pamatatau, Richard
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Master of Creative Writing
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Auckland University of Technology

There are two elements to this Master of Creative Writing thesis. The first is the creative aspect titled The Mother Hood, and the second is the exegesis that accompanies it, titled “Truths of the Mother Hood”.

The Mother Hood is a literary fiction novel set in an upper-middle-class Tauranga suburb in modern-day Aotearoa. It follows three friends on different parts of their motherhood journey. We meet Violet at the end of her pregnancy and into the first year of motherhood during which she gets diagnosed with postnatal depression. Lena is a stay-at-home mother of one who longs for more children. Saffi tries to balance work, family, and her relationship all while feeling that the distance between her and her husband Mitch can no longer be bridged. It follows the three women as they experience the banality of motherhood in the day-to-day and try to overcome the additional emotional challenges of their lives.

“Truths of the Mother Hood” is the theoretical component of my work. I cover why I felt the need to write The Mother Hood after being unable to find depictions of modern-day motherhood I could relate to in literary fiction. I share the research that has gone into covering topics such as pregnancy, childbirth, postnatal depression, infertility, miscarriage, balance, and matrescence. It also explains why I have chosen to include Covid-19 in the novel without making it a central focus of the plot.

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