Jessamine ChanFeb 21, 2022
The School for Good Mothers
Simon and Schuster 2022
An interview with Jessamine Chan, author of The School for Good Mothers (Simon and Schuster, 2022), a debut novel about the current and future terrors of state-disciplined forms of motherhood. Jessamine and I discuss the genesis of this near-future dystopia, and how she never considers genre when writing. We talk about the deep well of ingrained ideologies about the mothering and protection of children against unseen dangers, the complicated layers of the novel’s Philadelphia settings, including the real-life campus that inspired the fictional school, surveillance of racial minorities by police and child protective services, and so much more.
- “Where is your mother?” The New Yorker
- “Foster Care as Punishment” The New York Times
- Kim Brooks, Small Animals
- Liz Moore, Long Bright River
- Katie Gutierrez, More than You’ll Ever Know
- Ling Ma, Severance
- Alyssa Songsiridej, Little Rabbit
- Chloe Cooper Jones, Easy Beauty
Chris Holmes is Chair of Literatures in English and Associate Professor at Ithaca College. He writes criticism on contemporary global literatures. His book, Kazuo Ishiguro as World Literature, is under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing. He is the co-director of The New Voices Festival, a celebration of work in poetry, prose, and playwriting by up-and-coming young writers.