Helen Garner’s first novel, Monkey Grip, has become an icon of the Australian literary scene and a touchstone in the lives of many women. This chapter explores how the book can facilitate the reimagining and valuing of single mothers’ contributions to their communities. It uses the activities and orientations of Nora, the protagonist, as tools for developing a more expansive conceptualisation of social citizenship that might be applied to the lives of contemporary single mothers. It suggests that recognising Nora’s contributions to her households and broader community challenges the currently dominant framing of single mothers as either only mothers or employed workers. Nora’s life reorients us to women’s experiences and claims as active and meaningful contributors to social spaces beyond family and labour markets.
|Title of host publication||Australian Mothering|
|Subtitle of host publication||Historical and Sociological Perspectives|
|Editors||Carla Pascoe Leahy, Petra Bueskens|
|Place of Publication||Cham, Switzerland|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
- Social practice