Books for changing the world
Waiting in the Wings
Portrait of a Queer Motherhood

In a series of journal entries—some original passages, others revisited and expanded in retrospect—Cherrié Moraga details her experiences with pregnancy, birth, and the early years of lesbian parenting. 

With the premature birth of her son—when HIV-related mortality rates were at their highest—Moraga, a new mother at 40-years-old, was forced to confront the fragile volatility of life and death; in these recorded dreams and reflections, her terror and resilience are made palpable. The particular challenges of queer parenting prove transformative as Moraga navigates her intersecting roles as mother, child, lover, friend, artist, activist, and more.

With an updated introduction and other additions, including an afterword by Rafael Angel Moraga, this revised 25th anniversary edition of Waiting in the Wings is thoughtful and emotive, with prose that is sharp and beautifully written, from the voice of a beloved and incomparable writer. 

  • “Cherríe Moraga speaks directly, as a powerful voice of a pivotal generation, a generation that is aging and coming to terms with its urgent, collective story.”
    —Joy Harjo

    “Cherríe Moraga is a literary giant and spiritual genius whose visionary and courageous work and witness constitutes a prophetic light in our dark times of imperial decay!” 
    —Cornel West

    “When future generations look back at the first generation of Latino/a literature, Cherríe Moraga's formative work will be one of the cornerstones of what by then will be American Literature. Without her work, many of us would not have felt the solidarity and power or had the critical vocabulary or understanding to give voice to our own stories.” 
    —Julia Alvarez

    “What Cherríe Moraga brings to Waiting in The Wings is not only her writer's talent for speaking fluently and passionately, but also her enormous courage in speaking what is too often left unspoken—the deeply entwined net of fear and love, despair and exhilaration, that is mothering a child. She makes us feel the terror and beauty of the fragile infant body at threat, the staggering exhaustion of trying to work on too little sleep with never enough time or help. the guilt and despair that drags us down while the work is left undone and we turn to comfort our child. Is it more difficult to be a queer mother? I do not know, but I am strengthened and inspired by the author's open-hearted revelations. I take this book as a gift of love.”
    —Dorothy Allison

    “Cherríe Moraga's Waiting in The Wings is a powerful meditation on motherhood and creativity. With eloquence and intensity, it grapples with a number of elemental questions that we, as blood-gushing makers of babies and cultura, must face. It is also a passionate lesson on how to make "familia from scratch," rendering a near-death experience and the enlightenment that follows without sentimentality. Just when we feel—as Chicanas/writers/mothers—that the needs of our children in this world "full of enemy" are too overwhelming, they step forward to renew our sense of outrage, rekindle our hope, and remind us, with a profound and refreshing breath, that this life is worth writing. A spiritually inspiring and brutally wise book.”
    —Helena Maria Viramontes

    Waiting in the Wings is an honest, introspective memoir of evolving lesbian motherhood.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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