Motherhood

written by Sheila Heti

Random House | ISBN 9781846558375

Hardback

$35.00

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SCOTT'S STAFF PICK, 2018:

Sheila Heti approaches big questions with both intelligence and playfulness. Her questioning of whether or not to become a mother, hastened by the approach of her 40th birthday, has her seeking out all kinds of advice—from friends and strangers to art a cobbled together version of I-Ching. This openness to the variety of ideas gives her interrogations a sense of vulnerability mingled with deep wisdom. In a book about mothers and babies, Heti plays the role of both wide-eyed child and sage. That’s not to say this is a gentle read. Heti’s examination of herself and those close to her, often affected by her agonising period pain, can make for uncomfortable reading. She describes her her mother’s sadness in a way I found particularly affecting. Reading Motherhood feels like having an important conversation with a close friend, with all the frustration, tenderness, silliness and illumination that they entail.

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A provocative novel about the desire and duty to procreate, from the author of the critically acclaimed How Should A Person Be?
Motherhood treats one of the most consequential decisions of early adulthood – whether or not to have children – with the intelligence, wit and originality that have won Sheila Heti international acclaim.

Having reached an age when most of her peers are asking themselves when they will become mothers, Heti’s narrator considers, with the same urgency, whether she will do so at all. Over the course of several years, under the influence of her partner, body, family, friends, mysticism and chance, she struggles to make a moral and meaningful choice.

In a compellingly direct mode that straddles the forms of the novel and the essay, Motherhood raises radical and essential questions about womanhood, parenthood, and how – and for whom – to live.

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