Michelle Orange Tackles a Writerly Taboo: Her Mother

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By Maggie Doherty

PURE FLAME
A Legacy
By Michelle Orange

I’ve written a lot about motherhood: essays, reading lists, book reviews, my first book. I have never once written about my own mother. On those rare occasions when I’ve sat down to write about her, the words won’t come. One reason is that writing, for me, has always been a process of self-definition — a way to escape, if only for a few hours, familial and social roles. When I’m writing, I’m not a teacher or a partner or a friend. I’m certainly not my mother’s daughter. I’m someone else — that is, myself.

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