Miss Monica Cardenas

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My research is focused on literature's role in the evolution of women's fertility rights in the United States from 1960, as well as three landmark Supreme Court decisions related to reproductive rights. The subsequent representation of mothers in three novels over the same period - The Bell Jar, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Patron Saint of Liars - examine the repercussions of these decisions. My research identifies specific techniques employed by these writers that allowed them to contribute to a body of literature that has changed the narrative around women’s fertility rights. I blog about contemporary novels that represent non-maternal women and ambivalent mothers. 

My creative work utilizes the techniques of the novelists I have studied to demonstrate the danger of a society that seizes control over women’s fertility. My writing is borne of my interest in fertility rights and children’s well-being, as well as the often misunderstood “maternal instinct.” 

I am a fiction reader at Litro Magazine, and have experience teaching literature and creative writing at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. I have worked as a writing tutor for the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and volunteer with Action Tutoring, supporting pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

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