As I anticipate this edition of The Mother Knot, by Duke University Press, I
would like to express special thanks to those who enabled me to write
this memoir so many years ago, and to those who have supported it
Many friends, old and new, and too numerous to mention here, have
helped to clarify my thinking and feeling about the experience of moth-
erhood that is central to this book and to my life. Again, I express my
appreciation to them all.
Joyce Johnson edited the original manuscript and was primarily
responsible for bringing the work into the world.
In the most recent past, the life of this book has been sustained by
several people whose help and encouragement I would like to acknowl-
edge here: my agent, Wendy Weil, whose integrity and friendship I
in so many ways; Sara Ruddick, whose support for my work has
been invaluable to me as a friend and as a writer; Maureen Reddy,
whose writing about my work has often sustained me; Tillie Olsen,
whose own work is both standard and inspiration to anyone concerned
with either motherhood or the poetry oflanguage; and Nancy Huston,
whose work has revealed so exquisitely the experience of both mother-
hood and daughterhood.
I am deeply grateful to all the people at Duke University Press for
their support of my work. I especially thank my editor, Valerie Millhol-
land. and everyone in the marketing department. with very special
appreciation for Emily Young.
The words I wrote for the first edition about my sister. Emily Lazarre.
still stand: it is through my lifelong love for her that I come to under-
stand ever more profoundly the experiences of motherhood. daughter-
hood. and sisterhood.