Literary Hub

22 Photos of Famous Authors and Their Moms

In case you haven’t noticed, this Sunday is Mother’s Day. Be nice to your mom. Maybe you could even hang out with her. I promise she’ll like it better than flowers that come in a box, or even a new book (sacrilege, I know). And hey, these twenty-two famous authors did it—even if some of them were babies at the time. So to celebrate some of our greatest writers and the women who brought them into the world, below you’ll find snapshots of Ernest Hemingway, Marguerite Duras, Jorge Luis Borges, Maya Angelou and more, all captured spending quality time with their mothers. (Flowers are nice too.)

hemingway family

Ernest Hemingway and his family at his boyhood home at 339 N. Oak Park Place Ave in Oak Park, Illinois. 1918. The Hemingway family from left to right: his father, Dr. Clarence; his mother, Mrs. Grace, Ernest; Madeliane; Ursula; Marcelline and Leicester and Carol in front. Reuters file photo via IBT.

Marguerite Duras with her mother

Marguerite Duras with her mother, Marie Donnadieu, via JSTOR

Sylvia Plath with her mother Aurelia and brother Warren, circa 1952, via Vintage Everyday

Maya Angelou and her mother, Vivian Baxter. Random House via NPR.

virginia woolf and mom

A young Virginia (Woolf) with her mother, Julia Stephen. Photo by Henry H. H. Cameron via Camberwell Foxes

Julio Cortazar with his mother

Julio Cortazar with his mother in Austria, 1963, via Publicable

agatha christie mother

Agatha Christie with her mother, Clara, via Pinterest.

roald dahl and mom

A young Roald Dahl with his mother, Sofie (and pet dog) in the garden of Ty Mynydd, circa 1919, via Roald Dahl Facts.

Tennessee Williams with his mother

Tennessee Williams with his mother, Edwina Williams, via WNYC

amy tan mother

Amy Tan and her mother, Daisy, 1989, via NPR

eudora welty and mother

Eudora Welty and her mother, Chestina, in their garden. Photograph by Rollie McKenna, via Pinterest

proust and mom

Marcel Proust with his mother, Jeanne Clémence Weil, and brother, Robert, circa 1895, via NYRB

arthur miller family

Arthur Miller with his mother Augusta, his father Isidore, and his new wife, Marilyn Monroe, 1956, via Infinite Marilyn Monroe

A pretty disgruntled baby Italo Calvino, with his mother, Eva Mameli Calvino, via Pinterest

raymond carver mother

10-year-old Raymond Carver with his mother Ella, and brother James, via The Quivering Pen

flannery o'connor mother

Flannery O’Connor (second from left) with a friend, some nuns (Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet), and her mother, Regina, in 1961, via the Arlington Catholic Herald

Thomas Wolfe and his mother

Thomas Wolfe and his mother Julia, via N.C. Historic Sites.

borges and mother

Jorge Luis Borges with his mother Leonor, on the Westminster Bridge, 1963, via This Recording

Doris Lessing with her mother

Doris Lessing with her mother Emily, her brother, and some very good dogs, via Numero Cinq

marianne moore and mother

Marianne Moore (right) and her mother, Mary Warner Moore, Brooklyn, 1932, via NYRB

philip roth family

Philip Roth with his mother Bess, his father and brother, 1942, via Newark Public Library

William Carlos Williams with his mother

William Carlos Williams with his mother, Rachel Helena Hoeb, via William Carlos Williams.

More from Literary Hub

Literary Hub9 min read
Remembering Merce Cunningham and Radical Dance in Postwar Paris
“Merce would like to speak with you and Carolyn,” said a smiling administrator of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. The company was performing at Jacob’s Pillow, in western Massachusetts, that July weekend in 2009. I was deeply moved that Merce wan
Literary Hub2 min read
How Many Copies Did Famous Books Sell in the First Year?
Book publishing can be a tricky—and fickle—thing. Some of the classics we know and love today were instant bestsellers when they were originally published—and some were huge flops. While the numbers a book puts up during its first year in the world a
Literary Hub9 min read
How Alison Bechdel Understands Her Life as Fiction
A third of the way through her seminal autobiographical graphic novel, Fun Home, Alison Bechdel reveals the reasons for the many literary allusions—Henry James, Fitzgerald, Camus, Greek mythology—peppered throughout the book. “I employ these allusion