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Family & Relationships Motherhood

Monsters, Martyrs, and Marionettes

Essays on Motherhood

by (author) Adrienne Gruber

Book*hug Press
Initial publish date
May 2024
Motherhood, Essays, Personal Memoirs
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2024
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2024
    List Price

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Monsters, Martyrs, and Marionettes is a revelatory collection of personal essays that subverts the stereotypes and transcends the platitudes of family life to examine motherhood with blistering insight.

Documenting the birth and early life of her three daughters, Adrienne Gruber shares what it really means to use one’s body to bring another life into the world and the lasting ramifications of that act on both parent and child. Each piece peers into the seemingly mundane to show us the mortal and emotional consequences of maternal bonds, placing experiences of “being a mom” within broader contexts—historical, literary, biological, and psychological—to speak to the ugly realities of parenthood often omitted from mainstream conversations.

Ultimately, these deeply moving, graceful essays force us to consider how close we are to death, even in the most average of moments, and how beauty is a necessary celebration amidst the chaos of being alive.

About the author

Adrienne Gruber is the author of the poetry collection This Is The Nightmare (2008; shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry) and three chapbooks: Intertidal Zones (2014), Mimic (2012; winner of a bpNichol Chapbook Award), and Everything Water (2011). Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Grain, Event, Arc Poetry Magazine, Poetry is Dead, and Plentitude. She has been a finalist for the CBC Literary Awards in poetry, Descant's Winston Collins Best Canadian Poem Contest, and twice for Arc's Poem of the Year Contest. Her poem "Gestational Trail" was awarded first prize in The Antigonish Review's Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest in 2015. Gruber lives in Vancouver with her partner Dennis and their two daughters. Her new book Buoyancy Control is forthcoming from BookThug in the spring of 2016. Learn more at

Adrienne Gruber's profile page

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