Maternal acts in Toni Morrison's eight novels are not exactly the stuff of sentimentality: mothers commit infanticide (intentionally in Sula and Beloved, "accidentally" in Paradise), severe neglect (in The Bluest Eye), child abuse (in Tar Baby), and outright abandonment (in The Bluest Eye, Jazz, Paradise, and Love). And this is just what happens to the kids. Mothers in Morrison's novels are raped, whipped, sold, and shot; they throw themselves down wells, wander wild in the woods, and are just generally unhinged. Yet in interviews, many of which are cited at length in Andrea O'Reilly's comprehensive study of Morrison and motherhood, the picture Toni Morrison paints of what mothering can do for mothers, children, and community is decidedly rosier. Here Morrison consistently describes motherhood as a profoundly positive experience -- one that empowers children, community, and, perhaps most surprisingly to some, mothers themselves.