Of Dogs and Daughters

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Of Dogs and Daughters

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Author: Susan van Veen


ISBN: 9789083362199

Date: 1st March, 2024


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  2. History and Criticism


"In the lobby and the dining room, Guiseppa's walls are decorated with fairytale stills depicting digitally generated Disneyland scenery, occupied by the most famous of Walt Disney's characters. Then, in Giuseppa's own room, I found the first trace of Perdita's Dalmatian family in the form of incidental black-and-white spots on a framed portrait of St. Teresa. Giuseppa became a surrogate mother to me during my stay. I was not her daughter, but I was a daughter striving to understand." Of Dogs and Daughters brings a compelling record of female artists and writers, whose voices have been documented and collected through friendships and chance encounters. Combined with found material that proposes dog-human perspectives, this book attempts to redefine the mother-daughter relationship through a surrogate lens, exploring images of closeness, of anxieties conjured up by film franchises and mechanisms of nostalgia aimed at caregivers and children. The contributions by artists Carmen Dusmet Carrasco and Simona Koutná, and writer Susan van Veen are complemented by the introspections of memoirist Giuseppa and interlaced with passages from the novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians (1956) by Dodie Smith. Each voice represents a unique personal account against a backdrop of deficient social support, single parenthood and absent caregivers.

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