Virtual Author Talk: Angela Garbes, Essential Labor
May 23, 2022
05:00 pm - 06:00 pm
I know what you might be thinking: "hold on, this isn't a cookbook!" Sometimes we find an author's voice so compelling that we just have to share it with our audience. Such is the case with Seattle-based writer Angela Garbes. Her first book, Like A Mother, is a staff favorite for its unflinching portrayal of pregnancy, birth, and early motherhood. We're thrilled to host Angela for a Virtual Author talk celebrating her latest book, Essential Labor, a deeply personal and rigorously reported look at what mothering is, and can be. Angela will be in conversation with New York Times Food Journalist Ligaya Mishan.
How this works: This event will be broadcast live on Zoom. Registering will provide you with a unique access link in an email. At the event time, click that link to watch the talk. During the event, feel free to ask questions using the Q & A feature.
This author talk is FREE but you can support it by purchasing a SIGNED copy of the book here. Thank you!
About the book:
From the acclaimed author of Like a Mother comes a reflection on the state of caregiving in America, and an exploration of mothering as a means of social change.
The Covid-19 pandemic shed fresh light on a long-overlooked truth: mothering is among the only essential work humans do. In response to the increasing weight placed on mothers and caregivers—and the lack of a social safety net to support them—writer Angela Garbes found herself pondering a vital question: How, under our current circumstances that leave us lonely, exhausted, and financially strained, might we demand more from American family life?
In Essential Labor, Garbes explores assumptions about care, work, and deservedness, offering a deeply personal and rigorously reported look at what mothering is, and can be. A first-generation Filipino-American, Garbes shares the perspective of her family's complicated relationship to care work, placing mothering in a global context—the invisible economic engine that has been historically demanded of women of color.
Garbes contends that while the labor of raising children is devalued in America, the act of mothering offers the radical potential to create a more equitable society. In Essential Labor, Garbes reframes the physically and mentally draining work of meeting a child's bodily and emotional needs as opportunities to find meaning, to nurture a deeper sense of self, pleasure, and belonging. This is highly skilled labor, work that impacts society at its most foundational level.
Part galvanizing manifesto, part poignant narrative, Essential Labor is a beautifully rendered reflection on care that reminds us of the irrefutable power and beauty of mothering.