Saturday, May 11, 2013

The 10 worst mothers in books

Jennifer Gilmore's latest novel is The Mothers.

From her list of the ten worst mothers in books, as told to Publishers Weekly:
Charlotte Haze, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Like Emma Bovary, Charlotte Haze craves for the finer and more sophisticated things, but she is portrayed as such a cow that she doesn’t even know what those things are. She thinks they are incarnate in Humbert, whom she manipulates into marriage, willfully clueless to his pedophiliac desire for her daughter. Like Emma Bovary and Queen Gertrude, Charlotte Haze (in a haze) pays with a violent death so leaving her unloved daughter vulnerable to the fire of Humbert’s loins.
Read about another entry on the list.

Lolita appears on Steven Amsterdam's list of five top books that have anxiety at their heart, John Banville's five best list of books on early love and infatuation, Kathryn Harrison's list of favorite books with parentless protagonists, Emily Temple's list of ten of the greatest kisses in literature, John Mullan's list of ten of the best lakes in literature, Dan Vyleta's top ten list of books in second languages, Rowan Somerville's top ten list of books of good sex in fiction, Henry Sutton's top ten list of unreliable narrators, Adam Leith Gollner's top ten list of fruit scenes in literature, Laura Hird's literary top ten list, Monica Ali's ten favorite books list, Laura Lippman's 5 most important books list, Mohsin Hamid's 10 favorite books list, and Dani Shapiro's 10 favorite books list.

Also see:'s 2010 list of the ten worst mothers in fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue