Janice Angstrom one of lit’s worst moms?

For those who are tired of reading Mother’s Day tribute after tribute, here’s a list of bad moms compiled by Tina Jordan and Susan Ellingwood for The New York Times and published, ironically, on May 12, 2018–Mother’s Day:

“8 of the Worst Moms in Literature; Think your mother was harsh? These books will convince you that she deserves a Mother of the Year Award.”

Updike’s Janice Angstrom (Rabbit, Run) makes the list.

“‘Rabbit’ Angstrom’s wife, Janice—often found ‘highball in hand, glued to the television set’—drunkenly allows their infant daughter to drown in the tub.'” There’s a link, too, if you’re a paid subscriber, to the Times‘ Nov. 6, 1960 review of Rabbit, Run by David Boroff, who calls it a “moving and often brilliant novel.”

Rabbit, of course, has to share the blame . . . so I guess that means he could turn up on a bad dad list come Father’s Day.


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