Abstract

This article argues that, as a tool for social justice and resistance, the concept of motherwork can be usefully applied to two texts by Chicana writers—Lucha Corpi's Black Widow's Wardrobe and Demetria Martínez's Mother Tongue. The essay draws on Patricia Hill Collins's theory of motherwork and survival for women of color to show how characters in the novels confront violence by doing motherwork. The article employs a transnational reading of the texts to argue that in this context domestic violence has a double meaning—that of the home and that of the nation. The article addresses motherwork generally, turns to hemispheric and transnational concerns, and concludes with a discussion of domestic violence and the motherwork that emerges in opposition to it. By doing motherwork, the characters develop survival tactics that resist racist, patriarchal practices in government policy.

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