My Children, My Gold: Meetings with Women of the Fourth World

My Children, My Gold: Meetings with Women of the Fourth World

by Debbie Taylor
     
 

Debbie Taylor—novelist, traveller and author—takes us on a journey to meet seven remarkable women. In each of seven countries, she lives with one woman, learning about her work and her family, her fears and beliefs, her loves and losses. Taylor portrays them vividly: Jomuna, forced into backbreaking work hawking dried fish door-to-door, looked down upon…  See more details below

Overview

Debbie Taylor—novelist, traveller and author—takes us on a journey to meet seven remarkable women. In each of seven countries, she lives with one woman, learning about her work and her family, her fears and beliefs, her loves and losses. Taylor portrays them vividly: Jomuna, forced into backbreaking work hawking dried fish door-to-door, looked down upon and ostracized because she is a widow; Hua, a factory worker whose husband divorced her for giving birth to a daughter; Lydia, who followed her mother into prostitution after her husband ran off with another woman. Varied though their stories are, these women's lives are made similar by dual enemies: poverty, which pulls them down to the lowest rungs in their societies, and patriarchy, which sabotages their attempts to climb higher. These forces bring about what Taylor calls the Fourth World: families headed by women, now comprising one-quarter of all households in the world. Taylor tells these moving stories with great empathy and insight. Ranging from China, India, and Australia to Uganda, Egypt, Brazil, and Scotland, she brings to life the worlds these women inhabit, meticulously detailing their struggles to secure a decent life for themselves and their children.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Taylor (The Children Who Sleep by the River) traveled to seven countries, from Australia to Brazil, where she interviewed and shared in the lives of seven members of the group she terms ``the Fourth World.'' What she found were women who, despite differences in race, class and culture, are united in their attempts to preserve themselves and their children in the face of poverty, crushing social restrictions and male profligacy. Taylor has the novelist's flair for picking out the little details that give each profile its heartrending force, as when an ailing Ugandan woman with four young sons describes her husband's death from AIDS. An Indian widow, forbidden by the Hindu religion to remarry, eat meat or attend family celebrations, walks more than 20 kilometers a day in searing heat to sell fish door-to-door. Unable to go out except for infrequent shopping expeditions, for fear that her ``looseness'' will mar her daughters' chances for marriage, a Cairo divorce stays in her tiny apartment, obese and diabetic like many of her peers. The little daughter of a Chinese divorce, when asked if she remembers her father, responds: ``He doesn't want Mother any more because I'm a girl.'' These stunningly immediate pieces underscore the fact that, despite their gains in certain societies, women the world over have a long uphill climb ahead of them. (Feb.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520201453
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
02/28/1995
Pages:
257
Product dimensions:
5.06(w) x 7.72(h) x 0.78(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Debbie Taylor is a novelist and journalist. Her books include a collection of short stories set in Thailand, A Tale of Two Villages (1986), and a novel about traditional magic and childbirth in Zimbabwe, The Children Who Sleep by the River (1991).

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Newcastle, England
Date of Birth:
March 5, 1969
Place of Birth:
Cardiff, Wales, England
Education:
B.Sc. in Psychology, University College, London; Ph.D. in Neuropsychology, University College, London

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >