The End of the Mother

Original title: La fine della madre

Publication Date:

November 2017



Original language and publisher

Italian | Neri Pozza

The End of the Mother

Original title: La fine della madre

  • 2 Seas Represents: Dutch Rights
  • Right sold: France (Editions Salvator)


Do wombs for rent signal the end of the maternal figure? Is the sun setting on the only power women have left? A pamphlet designed to provoke debate. A book that doesn’t hesitate to shock the conscience.

The recognition of homosexual couples’ right to have children, the new practice of renting a woman’s uterus to have a child (usually with bought gametes): these are not an expansion – accepted by some and disliked by others – of individual freedom. Together they represent a radical anthropological change assailing our societies and cultures, capable of bringing about changes that we do not yet fully realise. To give an example, buying gametes – especially when, as in the vast majority of cases, the so-called donor is anonymous – creates the constant danger of incest, undermining one of the premises on which human culture is based. But above all, these changes also destroy the maternal figure from a symbolic perspective, depriving women of their one true power. Denouncing this process, which has gone largely unnoticed but which many signs show is already in place, is at the heart of this book.

Lucetta Scaraffia was born in Turin in 1948 and is an Italian historian and journalist. She is Associate Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Rome La Sapienza. She contributes to the newspapers “Avvenire”, “Il Foglio” and “Corriere della Sera” . Her books include Andare per monasteri (Il Mulino, 2015), Dall’ultimo banco. La chiesa, le donne, il sinodo (Marsilio, 2016).