The Mothers grew out of a story Bennett wrote at Stanford, where she was an English major reading a homogenous canon, and reworked at the University of Michigan’s M.F.A. program, but its seeds can be found in Oceanside, where she grew up. “In a lot of ways, I was writing in the direction of my fears. When I was younger, one of the worst things I could have done was to get pregnant. Another thing that really scared me was the idea of losing my mother,” says Bennett.