Cover of Motherhood
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By: Sheila Heti

Publisher: Macmillan Trade

Imprint: Henry Holt & Co.

Format: Hardcover | ISBN: 9781627790772

Other Formats:

Electronic | Audio | Trade Paperback

On Sale: | Pages: 304

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From the author of How Should a Person Be? ("one of the most talked-about books of the year"--Time Magazine) and the New York Times Bestseller Women in Clothes comes a daring novel about whether to have children.In Motherhood, Sheila Heti asks what is gained and what is lost when a woman becomes a mother, treating the most consequential decision of early adulthood with the candor, originality, and humor that have won Heti international acclaim and made How Should A Person Be? required reading for a generation.In her late thirties, when her friends are asking when they will become mothers, the narrator of Heti's intimate and urgent novel considers whether she will do so at all. In a narrative spanning several years, casting among the influence of her peers, partner, and her duties to her forbearers, she struggles to make a wise and moral choice. After seeking guidance from philosophy, her body, mysticism, and chance, she discovers her answer much closer to home.Motherhood is a courageous, keenly felt, and starkly original novel that will surely spark lively conversations about womanhood, parenthood, and about how--and for whom--to live.
Heti is at her best — her sharpest and funniest — when she writes about why having a child doesn't appeal to her, cutting against saccharine commonplaces about the importance of child-rearing... At the end of the novel, in a witty reversal of the expected cliché, she describes having managed to get to the end of her childbearing years without a baby as “a miracle.”... It sometimes seems that our narrator is having a conversation with herself so private and hermetic that the world around her, with its varied examples of womanhood and motherhood, and its many arguments on these subjects, has fallen away.
—New York Times
The narrator's inner dialogue returns repeatedly to the Old Testament story of Jacob wrestling with the angel. At times, that's what reading MOTHERHOOD can feel like --- a high-stakes wrestling match with profound consequences. Some readers may implore Heti's narrator to decide already, while others may immerse themselves in the vital questions she raises --- questions that shatter many of the assumptions we (still) make about the true value and purpose of women's lives.
Heti deftly captures the daily insecurities, challenges and comforts involved in living with a romantic partner, and the story of the relationship between the narrator and Miles concludes with a moving reversal of the typical narrative in which a happy ending for a young(ish) couple includes procreation.... Heti's important book is a positive assertion that motherhood is not an obligatory sacrifice, a glorified institution, the cornerstone of a woman's being. Motherhood is — or should be — a choice, with each woman accorded the freedom to decide what it means.
—San Francisco Chronicle
"Motherhood" floats, as did Heti's excellent novel "How Should a Person Be?" (2012), somewhere between fiction and nonfiction. It reads like an inspired monologue, delivered over a kitchen table, or the one Spalding Gray sat behind in "Swimming to Cambodia." Not a lot happens, yet everything does.... This book is endlessly quotable, and a perfect review would be nothing but quotations. She makes a banquet of her objections to parenthood. If you are an underliner, as I am, your pen may go dry.
—New York Times
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