My Mother Laughs
Author: Chantal Akerman
Translator: Corina Copp
Publisher The Song Cave (2019)
First published in France in 2013, My Mother Laughs is the final book written by the legendary and beloved Belgian artist and director Chantal Akerman (1950–2015) before her death. A moving and unforgettable memoir, the book delves deeply into one of the central themes and focuses of Akerman’s often autobiographical films: her mother, who was the direct subject of her final film No Home Movie (2015).
With a particular focus on the difficulties Akerman faced in conjunction with the end of her mother’s life, the book combines a matter-of-fact writing style with family photographs and stills from her own films in order to better convey the totality of her experience. Akerman writes: "With pride because I finally believed in my ability to say something that I’d had trouble saying. I told myself, I am strong for once, I speak. I tell the truth."