That beautiful room? It's for you.
September 11, 2012 11:53 AM   Subscribe

Name That Story/Author: Latina mother asks husband to build rooms for new babies. The last room--is special.

I read this story some years ago and have been thinking about it a lot in light of all the anti-contraception propaganda out there these days. I don't remember if it's fictional or not, and I cannot remember the title or author, but the plotline is quite vivid:

The story is told from the viewpoint of a daughter in a Latina family (not sure what country), and it focuses on her mother. The mother's way of telling her husband that she was pregnant, yet again, was to ask him to build a new room onto the house for its upcoming occupant. Many rooms later, she asks him for a special room, and gives lots of detail (for some reason, I think this room was painted blue but I'm not completely sure of that). When it's finished, the mother asks her husband what he thinks of the room and he says it's very beautiful, and she says, "Good. It's for you."

The narrator casts this as a beautiful example of her mother's unselfish willingness to sacrifice the comfort of her marriage bed for the overall good of the family. As it's told, it is lovely in a way but the more I think about it now, the more horrific it seems, and all the more painful that the poor woman couldn't just use some protection and enjoy her (obviously loving) marriage. I feel like this kind of thing is getting closer and closer to being forced on American women politically, and I'd like to use it as an example.

So--does anyone know the details? A link would be welcome if it's online anywhere; if not, I'll use the library.
posted by dlugoczaj to Writing & Language (3 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I believe you are describing More Room by Judith Ortiz Cofer. Here is a link to More Room via Google Books.
posted by February28 at 1:34 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: That's the one. Thank you!
posted by dlugoczaj at 2:41 PM on September 11, 2012

Great. It was not so busy at the reference desk today so I had time to track down the essay. Once I found it I read, enjoyed it.
posted by February28 at 6:55 PM on September 11, 2012

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