Colleen Higgs, the founder and manager of Modjaji Books, has published a new memoir titled My Mother, My Madness (2020).
Published on July 10 by South African publishing company, Deep South, My Mother, My Madness recounts Higgs’s experience caring for her mother in the last ten years of her life.
The synopsis reads:
A woman reluctantly takes on the responsibility of putting her eccentric rebellious mother into a retirement home, and managing her care. She has her own daughter to raise and nurture, a marriage and a business to hold together, and her own psychological troubles due in good part to how she was mothered.
My mother, my madness is Higgs’s diary of her mother’s last ten years. It is at once funny, harrowing, mundane, chaotic, and full of insight. It is a rich and moving story which unfolds through its characters like a novel.
My Mother, My Madness grew out of Higgs’s personal blog in which she wrote about her experiences and relationship with her mother anonymously. In an interview with Hellenic Radio, Higgs explains that she decided to transform the blog into a memoir six months after her mother’s death.
In the interview, Higgs also explains her reluctance to include photos in the memoir:
I decided not to do that because, although it is a memoir (and I do have beautiful photos) I just thought, the thing about reading is that it’s for the reader. They can glean interest and use their own imaginations, think of their own people…There’s more room for the reader.
Higgs is the author of the poetry collections, Halfborn Woman (2004) and Lava Lamp Poems (2011), as well as the short story collection, Looking for Trouble and Other Mostly Yeoville Stories (2012).
My Mother, My Madness can be found on African Books Collective and Amazon.