The Family of Women: Voices Across the Generations
Published in 1999, The Family of Women is a series of honest portraits and unmediated personal narratives that explore the emotional inheritance that passes back and forth among great-grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers, and daughters. Inspired by the birth of her own daughter, Jones began the project by collecting articles on accomplished women in a variety of fields, and women who had faced adversity with great dignity. The opportunity to go into these women’s homes, sit in their kitchens, and ask them about important moments in their life was an incredible learning experience that left Jones with a deep understanding of what it means to be a woman, a daughter, and mother.
I don't know how my mother and father survived. They had the courage to start another family -- my sister, my brother, and me. Often when I held each of my six children in my arms, I would think, 'What would I have done?' My mother taught me how to be a mother. She was so kind, so lovable. She devoted her whole life to family and she would give everything to be with us
My mother raised us very sternly. We were expected to do something positive in the world. Be creative. Be decent. I can remember, from the time I was three, her insistence that her daughters be independent. She had given up a career to stay at home, she wanted us to have what she didn't. -Geraldine Laybourne
What I learned from my grandma is to give everything away without fear. From my mother, follow your gut. -Emmy Laybourne
It's as if they've always been a part of me. I loved them all from the second I laid eyes on them. If I never got another gift for the rest of my life I wouldn't miss it, because these are my five diamonds. Everybody says, 'Gee, these kids are so lucky.' I think it should be reversed: We are so lucky. -Linda Kuzlik
I don't even know how I do it. But I don't look at it as something difficult; it's made me incredibly happy. These girls are with me. My colleagues are on the road in hotels by themselves and I have it all, a totally rich life.
What I see as being different about our chain of women is that we're always opening the door to the next generation, not expecting our daughters to repeat our own lives. My mother allowed me to evolve from where she was, and I allow Grace to be more evolved than I am
When I'm with my dad I miss my mom, and when I'm with my mom I miss my dad. I just wish I could have the both of them. I'm gonna be sure whenever I do get married, that the man I marry is one that really want to spend the rest of his life with me.
My tremendous interest has been in power relationships, how power seems to divide us as human beings. When women walk around the house and are afraid, that's abuse. My mother was very dominated by my father. She should have left him long ago. I don't want my daughter to be comfortable with the way things are. But all you can do is provide your child with information and hope that it works.
-Shamita Das Dasgupta
I have enjoyed myself absolutely to the fullest, I have milked every second for everything it was worth. I guess it's not right to be proud but I am definitely a proud mother and grandmother. When I get too old to rodeo I've still got grandkids and great-grandkids I can bore with my stories. If you can combine children with everything else that makes your life tick, you've had blessings. -Jan Youren