Rights offering detail :
Jan. 19, 2022
Dennis Andrulis
Fiction: General/Other
Motherlands is inspired by my immigrant mother’s oral history and short stories. It traces her struggle to assimilate as a new American, and to overcome the madness of her mother, Mary. Mary abandons her as an infant in early 20th century Catholic Hungary after an illicit affair with a Jewish manager of an estate, and then demands that, at 12, she join her in New York, separating Irene from the land of her birth and the grandmother she loves. Anticipation for a loving reconciliation turns to fear for her life as her mother's bitterness leads to verbal and physical abuse. Desperate to escape, Irene seeks refuge in her love of learning and is accepted into Mount Holyoke at the dawn of the Depression.

The story's themes center on the universal desire for a mother’s love, set in the context of what immigrants leave behind and what they go through in finding their way in their new country. This novel is in the spirit of The Dutch House, as a tale of survival in the absence of a mother’s love, as well as the immigrant experiences in assimilation found in Brooklyn and The Namesake.
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When I asked my mother, at 90, to tell us about her life, she unearthed a stack of long-held 3x5 cards and announced, "I will tell my life in 3 chapters". She had been waiting all her life for someone to ask. My mother had written in obscurity much of her life. Motherlands is a testament to her words and her memory.

I am on the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin and have been writing on health care and social//political issues for over 30 years, Published works include 3 books, and others appearing in The Journal of the American Medical Association, Health Affairs, the Annals of Internal Medicine and The Huffington Post. Media appearance and interviews include CNN, NPR, The New York Times, Boston Globe and other news outlets.
Dennis Andrulis
phone: 9173278379
4602 Avenue G, Austin, TX 78751
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