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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.

304 pages, Hardcover

First published June 7, 2018

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About the author

Sheila Heti

50 books1,466 followers
Sheila Heti is the author of ten books, including the novels Motherhood and How Should a Person Be? Her upcoming novel, Pure Colour, will be published on February 15, 2022.

Her second children’s book, A Garden of Creatures, illustrated by Esme Shapiro, will be published in May 2022.

She was named one of "The New Vanguard" by The New York Times; a list of fifteen writers from around the world who are "shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century." Her books have been translated into twenty-three languages.

Motherhood was chosen by the book critics at the New York Times as one of the top books of 2018, and New York magazine chose it as the Best Book of the year. How Should a Person Be? was named one of the 12 “New Classics of the 21st century” by Vulture. It was a New York Times Notable Book, a best book of the year in The New Yorker, and was cited by Time as "one of the most talked-about books of the year.”

Women in Clothes, a collaboration with Leanne Shapton, Heidi Julavits, and 639 women from around the world, was a New York Times bestseller. She is also the author of a children’s book titled We Need a Horse, with art by Clare Rojas.

Her play, All Our Happy Days are Stupid, had sold-out runs at The Kitchen in New York and Videofag in Toronto.

She is the former Interviews Editor of The Believer magazine, and has conducted many long-form print interviews with writers and artists, including Joan Didion, Elena Ferrante, Agnes Varda, Sophie Calle, Dave Hickey and John Currin. Her fiction and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Bookforum, n+1, Granta, The London Review of Books, and elsewhere.

She has spoken at the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Modern, the New Yorker Festival, the 92nd Street Y, the Hammer Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and at universities across North America, and festivals internationally. Her six-hour lecture on writing, delivered in the Spring of 2021, can be purchased through the Leslie Shipman agency.

She is the founder of the Trampoline Hall lecture series, and appeared in Margaux Williamson’s 2012 film Teenager Hamlet, and in Leanne Shapton’s book, Important Artifacts. She lives in Toronto.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,062 reviews
Profile Image for Ariel.
301 reviews64.2k followers
December 14, 2018
Everyone needs to read this book. It's about a lady who knows what she wants but feels like maybe she doesn't know what she wants and that's relatable. Go get it!
Profile Image for Gretchen.
147 reviews40 followers
May 15, 2018
I decided I had had enough of this self-absorbed, wheel-spinning First World Problems book when the author said she felt jealous of gay men (why gay men only I don't know) for getting the experience of coming out, because it means they knew what they wanted and had occasion to let the rest of the world know. The preceding 130 pages were similarly lacking in perspective and empathy, which hollowed out so much of the truly interesting concerns that the narrator/author posed, making it all feel like an abstracted thought exercise with little more purpose or action than the central conceit of flipping coins for the random answers to her philosophical questions. I'll admit I am not the kind of person who finds agonizing over major decisions pleasurable, nor am I particularly inclined to philosophical maundering for its own sake, but here we are. I had hoped for some insight, some personal grappling with a decision I myself have grappled with, and this book felt, for all its pretty language, did not connect for me. Partly it's the class differences--the bougie and isolated life the author/narrator leads tends to make her insights feel disconnected from reality. The most interesting parts were when she considered her fraught relationship with the mothers in her family, especially her own. In all, this might appeal to a narrow subset of heterosexual, upper class white or Jewish women in their late thirties, but the perspective lent by this book didn't do that demographic any favors here.
Profile Image for Jenny (Reading Envy).
3,876 reviews3,050 followers
May 10, 2020
Sheila Heti's narrator explores motherhood through numerous lenses as she confronts her age of 37. From coins to dreams to readings, she lets the universe dictate some of the conversation (literally) while she thinks deeply about motherhood vs. societal expectation, motherhood vs. feminism, and motherhood vs. art. A very enjoyable read with lots to think about, but I found I thought of it as essay and had to constantly reframe as a novel. Read after hearing about it from Lindy on Reading Envy Podcast Episode 124.

ETA little bits I marked:

"Whether I want kids is a secret I keep from myself - it is the greatest secret I keep from myself."

"Why are we still having children?... A woman must have children because she must be occupied. When I think of all the people who want to forbid abortions, it seems it can only mean one thing - not that they want this new person in the world, but that they want that woman to be doing the work of child-rearing more than they want her to be doing anything else. There is something threatening about a woman who is not occupied with children. What is she going to do instead? What sort of trouble will she make?"

"I know a person can enjoy things they never thought they would, and regret terribly things they wanted very much, or can come to want things they didn't want before."

"It suddenly seemed like a huge conspiracy to keep women in their thirties - when you finally have some brains and some skills and experience - from doing anything useful with them at all."

"...It's easy to reward someone for having a child - the meaning of their life is so apparent in its solidness and worth. The course of their future is so clear. To have a child is like being a city with a mountain in the middle. Everyone sees the mountain. Everyone in the city is proud of the mountain. The city is built around it. A mountain, like a child, displays something real about the value of the town.

In a life in which there is no child, no one knows anything about your life's meaning. They might suspect it doesn't have one - no centre it is built around. Your life's value is invisible... How wonderful to tread an invisible path, where what matters most can hardly be seen." (she's talking about comparison between birthing a child and birthing art)

"People who don't have children might be thought not to move eforward, or change and grow, or have stories that build on stories, or lives of ever-increasing depth and love and pain. Maybe they seem stalled in one place - a place the parents have left behind."

"When a person has a child, they are turned towards their child. The rest of us are left in the cold."

"A book lives in every person who reads it."

"I recently learned that what happens in a cocoon is not that a caterpillar grows wings and turns into a butterfly. Rather, the caterpillar turns to mush. It disintegrates, and out of this mush, a new creature grows. Why does no one talk about the mush? Or about how, for any change at all to happen, we must, for some time, be nothing - be mush. That is where you are right now - in a state of mush. Right now your entire life is mush. But only if you don't try and escape it might you emerge one day as a butterfly."

"Only when a woman is no longer attractive to men, can she be left alone for enough moments to actually think."

"I don't have to live every possible life... I know I cannot hide from life, that life will give one experiences no matter what I choose."
Profile Image for Wynne Kontos RONA READS.
354 reviews21 followers
June 3, 2021
The emperor has no clothes people!

If you enjoyed this, ask yourself: are you a white, upper-middle class woman who is searching for a long term relationship or already has one? Are you in your "child bearing years?" Do you like things like brunch, Apartment Therapy and iced matcha? I meet all of these qualifications (except for the matcha) so I seem to be the exact audience that Sheila Heti is aiming for.

But this was 281 pages of the biggest navel-gazing I've ever seen in my entire life. What self-centered, elitist musings. The two stars are rewarded to Heti's willingness to completely buck genre and expectation. She just writes things and calls them whatever she calls them and that's what they are, and because I've read most of "How Should A Person Be" in school and liked it, I know she can string a sentence together. Had I not read that previously, I would think her "experimentation with form" was just bad writing, but because I've seen it in action before (I think) I'll give it to her.

But it seemed painfully obvious through out the majority of this novel? memoir? that she did NOT want to have children, and the fact that she should even be debating it, a little ridiculous. By the time she's landed on something interesting (her grandmother the Holocaust survivor, her mother's depression and early abandonment of her for a medical career) we're more than half way through and they're hardly explored. In fact, Heti goes so far as to compare her not having a child to the moment her grandmother narrowly avoided being shot at Auschwitz. Through more elegant language, of course. But cringe.

She spends the majority of the book asking rhetorical questions she claims to have answered through coin flips, complaining about her narcissistic boyfriend who fucks her in the ass (her words, not mine) in the middle of the night and artistically describing her tears. I'm not joking.

The most disturbing thing to me about this book was how openly Heti rebuked birth control, openly admitting early on that her and her partner practice pulling out as a method of birth control. Later, in the course of a single page, she gets an IUD inserted, complains of the insertion pain and then claims she had to "hobble around" for the next few days before getting it removed. When gigantic chunks of the book are dedicated to her tears and near relationship ending fights with the ass-fucker Miles, I wanted to scream HOW CAN WE HAVE THIS HONEST DIALOGUE ABOUT REPRODUCTION WHEN YOU WON'T EVEN PRACTICE SAFE SEX and MAYBE YOUR PMS-RELATED MOODS WOULD BE REGULATED BY BIRTH CONTROL. No, actually, at the end she gets prescribed anti-depressants and LITERALLY skips home wondering how the rest of the world doesn't know about this bliss.
Motherhood is of the body. Of course it is many things, but a gigantic part of it is that it is OF THE BODY. You are creating, carrying and releasing a human being from within your own body. This glossing over of those decisions and considerations when it seems nothing else in the book is glossed over left me shocked. Birth control and the physicality of birth were thought of in the most juvenile terms. Is she being facetious? Ironic? Artistic? Who cares?? If I have to ask that question, then she's not writing with an authority that lets me know she knows, I'm left only to wonder.

In fact, I take that back, the most disturbing thing about this book is that all these things can be true and Heti is still selling boat loads of this book, that she's getting these gigantic blurbs by famous writers calling this work revolutionary. Why is it revolutionary? Because Heti decided to lay bare her desires not to have a child? These are not revolutionary concepts. There was through out the book a screaming absence of awareness. Heti's fictional version of herself does not seem to acknowledge the concept of motherhood as it exists around the world. (Heti is Canadian, but that's so close to American, and she spends so much time on book tour, it barely translates). Heti can only write as the person she is, but somewhere that worldly awareness has to factor. At the very least I would've liked to see Heti lean more into the relationship between her grandmother and mother, whose lives and motherhood were so profoundly affected by trauma and depression. All we get is a few borderline-offensive allusions to said experiences.
There are important existential questions about womanhood that Heti never loses sight of. She never lets us forget that this is a book about a woman, but more importantly it is relentlessly examining a woman's issue. Pregnancy, motherhood, and more importantly the life (the lives?) that is forged by a single woman making a single decision to procreate. This is an analysis present in the minds of almost every woman at some time, and the lyrical almost bouncing prose that Heti offers should be enough. But as aforementioned, the lack of objectivity, the narrator's utter lack of consideration for motherhood as a worldwide affliction? condition? decision? seemed brutally apparent. How does her intergenerational observations of motherhood consider what it is like to parent around the world? Or more importantly, what it's like to parent or consider parenthood when you are not living a life of privilege? Thus this book can not be definitive unless you fit Heti's mold.

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Profile Image for JR is Reading.
33 reviews31 followers
January 23, 2018
First, the context that I am a big fan of “plotless fiction” as well as autobiographical fiction a la Ben Lerner – so this combined with my particular stage of life makes me the ideal reader for this book.

I could not stop reading it once I started. I feel like the conversation that Sheila is having with herself and the characters in this novel is a conversation that no one else is having and it's a book that many young women need, even though they may not even know it.

I almost wish this book was titled The Expectation of Motherhood (but not really because that is too clunky) because it really is about the expectation that all women want to be, will become or are immensely happy within being mothers – a fact that society makes it shameful or taboo to express oneself in opposition to.

There were a few moments I actually gasped with how perfectly she delves into ideas and issues for women around motherhood that I felt deep in my bones but have never been able to articulate. I think this will be a controversial book (in a good way). It is also about the struggle between being an artist (creating life through ideas) versus being a mother (creating life) and what it means to pursue one at the cost of the other. The book can be quite intellectual at times but it was the emotional journey that this character takes over the course of several years that is really the crux of this story. You get to feel the ins and outs of her hesitation, her hope and her pain – this character is an open and questioning soul who is honestly looking for answers to, really, unanswerable questions. Questions that many young women are afraid to ask themselves, let alone the people around them.

Love it or hate it, this book is going to create a lot of conversation – and that can only be good for the women whose lives are affected by the expectation of motherhood.
Profile Image for Never Without a Book.
468 reviews99 followers
September 5, 2018
I found this book extremely tedious and contrived. All of the coin flipping and existential questions was dumb. Overall, this seemed too self-focused and pretentious.  

Are you happy it’s over?

Are you getting your credit back from audible?
.Hell YES!

Would you recommend this book?
.😑 (suck teeth)

Ready for that drink now?

Profile Image for Canadian Reader.
1,066 reviews26 followers
October 13, 2018
In a piece of occasionally self-indulgent and overly long autobiographical fiction, Sheila Heti explores the question of whether or not to have children. Her unnamed narrator, like Heti herself, is a Toronto writer approaching forty with a loudly ticking biological clock. All the central character’s friends are reproducing, and she feels a degree of abandonment by them as they surrender to the biological imperative she resists. Her boyfriend, Miles, who himself fathered a child when young, is supportive of whatever decision she comes to. He is of the opinion that a person can’t be both a great artist and a great parent. He is also somewhat contemptuous of the haughty superiority of those who have reproduced and fulfilled the social contract. Parenthood is the biggest scam of all, he observes at one point: Yes, it’s “a lot of hard work, but I don’t see why it’s supposed to be so virtuous to do work you created for yourself out of purely your own self-interest.”

I sometimes grew weary of the protagonist’s frequent recounting of dreams and lengthy transcriptions of her oracular coin tossing episodes. (She regularly flipped three coins to gain answers to hard questions about her own destiny.) Her seemingly endless moods, tears, and ruminations about her fights with her boyfriend also didn’t sit so well after a while. While I can’t exactly say I was a fan of Miles—and could have managed quite well without some of the more intimate details of the couple’s life—I did understand his occasional exasperation with all the crying and his need to escape the apartment in order to clear his head. There really are too many pages given to “relationship” issues and female insecurity in this novel, which reads mostly like an essay/personal memoir hybrid but sometimes a little too much like an extended piece of journal therapy. Having said that, I do think that by the end of the book, Heti has provided considerable context for her narrator’s dilemma, mostly by exploring the trauma in the history of the character’s Hungarian Jewish family.

The reader is informed that the narrator’s (paternal) great-grandparents died in the Holocaust. And even though her orphaned maternal grandmother, Magda, managed to survive the death camps, marrying the son of a woman she tended to there, she still failed to realize her dreams. A bright, determined woman who pursued first a high-school, then a university education as a mature student, Magda had ambitious plans for a law career. These were dashed by her husband’s illicit business practices. She would die in her early fifties of an distinctly female malady: uterine cancer. Her daughter, the narrator’s mother, has also been plagued by unhappiness. A workaholic pathologist whose primary relationship in life was always with her mother, she is incapable of moving out of intense grief over the loss of that parent. Having immigrated to Canada as a young married woman, she is debilitated by guilt about leaving her ailing mother in the old country. Overwork provides a certain respite, however.

The narrator learned early in life that the women in her family have defined themselves primarily through work, not through motherhood. There is a history, here, of chafing against societal and educational constraints on women. In light of all this—the unavailable, often tearful, clearly clinically depressed mother; the emphasis (by the women who came before her) on making something of one’s life— the introspective narrator’s ambivalence about childbearing makes complete sense. She recalls that as a child she wanted to grow up to be like her mother, who had left the family home and taken her own apartment so that she could focus, free of all distraction, on her medical studies. As an adult, the narrator intuits that creative work, not motherhood, is the answer for her, as well. Early on in the book, she speculates that her work has the potential to mend the generational sadness: “If I am a good enough writer, perhaps I can stop her [my mother] from crying. Perhaps I can figure out why she is crying, and why I cry, too, and I can heal us both with my words.”

As Heti’s book draws to a conclusion, her protagonist seeks medical help for her ongoing emotional distress, which threatens to destroy her relationship. Interestingly, psychoactive drugs lift the oppressive pall of self-absorption. The “shaking, jittering problem of living,” the ambivalence and internal circular arguments about whether or not to have a child abate. “This is me returning,” she writes, “This is me coming back from an interior that I did not know was so intense.” There seems to be some suggestion here that much of the sturm und drang is due to biology: endogenous depression and distressing hormonal fluctuations. The narrator visits her now-retired mother, who has relocated to a spacious, airy home, apparently on the British Columbia Coast. There, in a bathroom cabinet, she discovers a prescription bottle of antidepressants, and sees that she and her mother have had similar struggles. Her mother also admits that motherhood was not the most important part of her life—something the narrator is now ripe to accept given her own ambivalence about bearing a child, when a life of the mind—and the “expanse of freedom” it affords—is what she herself values most.

Yes, Motherhood is overtly an exploration of the question of whether or not to have a child. Finishing it, though, I felt it was just as much an exploration of maternal legacy—in this case, the carrying forward of sadness and familial values about the importance of stimulating or creative work. In the end, the narrator understands and owns what she stated much earlier in the book: “To transform the greyish and muddy landscape of my mind into a solid and concrete thing, utterly apart from me”—not a baby, but a book—“was my only hope.”
Profile Image for Antoinette.
755 reviews39 followers
December 2, 2018
This book did absolutely nothing for me. For most of the book, I felt like I was in the author's brain going round and round on a merry go round with no end in sight.
To be or not to be a mother, that is the question? Why can't I commit? What is wrong with me? And if I do decide to take the plunge, will it devastate my life? A woman who is so wrapped up in herself, she cannot see what is staring her in the face. She needs help!!
For all the introspection and all that soul searching, the book felt " clinical" to me. I felt nothing for her and her dilemma.
I read this book for a literary book group. To say I did not like this book would be an understatement.
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,462 reviews8,569 followers
October 13, 2018
An insightful, charismatic, deeply felt autobiographical novel that centers on the theme of motherhood. Our protagonist, an unnamed woman in her late thirties, feels pressured to have a child from her friends and from a society that values women based on their capacity to reproduce. This pressure launches our protagonist into a compelling self-exploration about whether she should have children, the emotions and morals surrounding the idea of having a child, for whom she wants to live her life, and more.

I so cherished this book's strong emotional pull. Sheila Heti instills our narrator with such a palpable, relatable angst about her choice to have a child or not. See, for example, this passage about how your friends abandon you to have kids, which connects so much to my feelings about my friends potentially abandoning me and the intimacy of our friendship as we get older:

"I had always thought my friends and I were moving into the same land together, a childless land where we would just do a million things together forever. I thought our minds and souls were all cast the same way, not that they were waiting for the right moment to jump ship, which is how it feels as they abandon me here. I should not think of it as an abandoning, but it would be wrong to say it's not a loss, or that I'm not startled at being so alone. How had I taken all of us as the same? Is that why I started wondering about having kids - because, one by one, the ice floe on which we were all standing was broken and made smaller, leaving me alone on just the tiniest piece of ice, which I had thought would remain vast, like a very large continent on which we'd all stay? It never occurred to me that I'd be the only one left here. I know I'm not the only one left, yet how can I trust the few who remain, when I'd been so mistaken about the rest?"

My favorite part of this book is Heti's sharp, profound insight about motherhood and the pressure society puts on us, especially women, to have children. She investigates the idea of motherhood with much emotional and cultural depth, exploring the painful feelings motherhood, or lack thereof, may bring, as well as the joy of not having kids. During the middle section of the book, I came across many passages that made me think "yes, she gets it." This passage, for example, about motherhood and doing good in the world:

"There is no inherent good in being born. The child would not otherwise miss its life. Nothing harms the earth more than another person - and nothing harms a person more than being born. If I really wanted to have a baby, it would be better to adopt. Even better would be to give the money I would have spent on raising a child to those organizations that give women who can't afford it condoms and birth control and education and abortions, and so save these women's lives. That would be a more worthwhile contribution to this world than adding one more troubled person from my own troubled womb."

I did find the novel's structure odd and hard to follow at times. I would definitely not start this book thinking you will receive something that makes much concrete or chronological sense. Rather, it is a composite of emotions and ideas all tied together in an unconventional yet fitting way. I also wish Heti had applied the same rigor of thought in which she examined motherhood to her relationship with Miles, which felt a bit like a cliche romance. Still, I enjoyed Motherhood a lot. I already know it is a book I will return to as I get older and many succumb to the pressure of having a kid. This book felt like the more free-flowing, less focused version of the title essay of Rebecca Solnit's masterful collection The Mother of All Questions . The book felt like what I wanted The Art of Waiting to be, too. Anyway, I will end this review with one last iconic passage:

"Besides, there are so many kinds of live to give birth to in this world, apart from a literal human life. And there are children everywhere, and parents needing help everywhere, and so much work to be done, and lives to be affirmed that are not necessarily the lives we would have chosen, had we started again. The whole world needs to be mothered. I don't need to invent a brand new life to give the warming effect to my life I imagine mothering will bring. There are lives and duties everywhere just crying out for a mother. That mother could be you."
Profile Image for Skyler Autumn.
228 reviews1,394 followers
February 7, 2019
4 Stars

Motherhood is less of a plot based novel or even a character study instead I'd classify it as a meditation on Motherhood. One of those plotless books that felt almost biographical in its delivery.

Motherhood follows our unnamed protagonist as she begins to examine the choice of whether or not to have children. That's it, the entire book. Its a contemplation on parenthood and what it means or doesn't if one chooses to not partake in this so called passage. For most, Motherhood is a stepping stone, another checkmark on the to-do list of life. Yet how much thought is truly given towards this absolutely massive, life altering decision? I found this read extraordinarily refreshing especially in a world in which people are getting pregnant without truly examining their decisions and the consequences. It was nice to see (for a change) the author take such a thorough introspective investigation on whether or not entering Motherhood was the right decision for her protagonist (which I'm led to believe is a reflection of her own journey). I think this book is also very fair towards both sides of the coin. Not biased, just inquisitive despite the outcome it did not judge.

Originally I was going to mark this as a 3 star read because although fascinating. It was repetitive, asked a lot of unanswerable questions, and seemed a bit long at times. BUT as I finished I found that the book lingered with me and I was finding ways to bring it up in daily discussions, debating the topics and questions raised for hours with any poor soul that caught my eye.

Overall I think this novel, should be required reading for anyone considering taking the plunge into parenthood. I think it asks those necessary questions that we ourselves need to answer before we take those permanent steps into Motherhood.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
3,608 reviews2,581 followers
May 4, 2023
Should one have children? No matter who’s asking the question or in what context, you’re going to get the whole gamut of replies, as proven by this recent Literary Hub survey of authors. Should I have children? Turn the question personal and, even if it’s actually rhetorical, you’ll still get an opinion from every quarter. As The Decision looms over her, the narrator of Sheila Heti’s new novel, a 37-year-old writer from Toronto, isn’t sure who to listen to. Her neurotic inner voice makes her second-guess her life. “The question of a child is a bug in the brain—it’s a bug that crawls across everything, every memory, and every sense of my own future.” Meanwhile, acquaintances and strangers alike all have their two cents to chip in. Everywhere she goes on her book tour, for instance, she hears other people’s stories and has to sift through them. She’s something like the protagonist of Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy, though with a stronger personality and internal commentary.

Having a child is an act of creation, and Heti’s narrator worries that she only has sufficient creative energy for one or the other: writing or breeding. Her identity as an artist is so precious to her that she is terrified of giving it up, or watering it down, to risk being a (not very good?) mother. Yet she has the sense that to remain childless she had better come up with a really good excuse. People will want to know what she is going to do with her life instead, and they’re unlikely to be satisfied by the notion that her books are like her babies.

The novel is in short, aphoristic paragraphs and is dominated by cogitation rather than scenes, though there are some concrete events and secondary characters, such as the narrator’s mother; her friend Libby, a new mother; and her partner, Miles, who has a 12-year-old daughter from a previous relationship. The sections are given headings like “PMS,” “Bleeding,” “Follicular,” and “Ovulating,” which suggest the cyclical nature of life: whether she likes it or not, this character is part of a physical process geared towards reproduction.

The cyclical workings of the female body mirror the circularity of her thoughts: she keeps revolving around the same questions, never seeming to get any closer to a decision – though by the end she does decide. The temptation is always to offload the choice onto an external, fate-like force. The narrator wants the oracular voice of the universe to answer everything for her via coin tosses. (Heti writes in a prefatory note that these were based on actual coin tosses.) She asks series of yes/no questions and reports what the coins have to say. It’s a way of avoiding responsibility for her own decision, and produces some truly hilarious passages. Oh, the absurdity of having a dialogue with an impersonal force!

Our heroine does ultimately realize how random and meaningless the coins’ yes/no answers are, but she continues to look outside herself for wisdom: to a fortune teller, psychics, dreams, and even a crazy woman in New York City who hits her up for money. Anything to bypass the wringer of her own mind. She also latches onto the biblical story of Jacob wrestling with the angel, and contrasts this with the symbol of a kitchen knife, which represents a demon that robs her of hope.

Every woman is a daughter as well as a potential mother, and a particularly moving strand of Motherhood is the narrator’s relationship with her female ancestors. Her Hungarian grandmother, Magda, survived Auschwitz only to die of cancer at 53; her mother, a doctor, devoted herself to her career and left the traditional household and childrearing tasks to her husband. This dual legacy of suffering and professional pride helps explain the narrator’s feelings. Deep down, she believes her family line was meant to end in a concentration camp; how dare she continue it now? She also emulates her mother’s commitment to a cerebral vocation – “So I also wanted to be the brains: to be nothing but words on a page.”

Chance, inheritance, and choice vie for pride of place in this relentless, audacious inquiry into the purpose of a woman’s life. I marked out dozens of quotes that could have been downloaded directly from my head or copied from my e-mails and journal pages. The book encapsulates nearly every thought that has gone through my mind over the last decade as I’ve faced the intractable question of whether to have children. I suspect it will mean the most to people who are still unsure or have already decided against children; parents may interpret Heti’s arguments as personal barbs, even though the narrator insists her own decision is not an inherent comment on anyone else’s. It’s a book I could have written, but now don’t have to; Heti has captured brilliantly what it’s like to be in this situation in this moment in time.

Here are a few of my favorite passages. They should give you an idea of whether this book might resonate with you, or at least interest you academically:
“On the one hand, the joy of children. On the other hand, the misery of them. On the one hand, the freedom of not having children. On the other hand, the loss of never having had them—but what is there to lose?”

“for a woman of curiosity, no decision will ever feel like the right one. In both, too much is missing. What can I say, except: I forgive myself for every time I neglected to take a risk, for all the narrowings and winnowings of my life. I understand that fear beckons to a person as much as possibility does, and even more strongly.”

“I don’t have to live every possible life, or to experience that particular love. I know I cannot hide from life; that life will give me experiences no matter what I choose. Not having a child is no escape from life, for life will always put me in situations, and show me new things, and take me to darknesses I wouldn’t choose to see, and all sorts of treasures of knowledge I cannot comprehend.”

Originally published, with images, on my blog, Bookish Beck.
Profile Image for Leo Robertson.
Author 38 books436 followers
May 21, 2018
LOVED this one!

A hilarious, poignant and honest account of one woman's dithering over what might be the most important decision of her life—but hang on, why HER life and not HIS? Why important, even? And so on, encapsulating an encyclopaedic collection of questions and considerations on the theme of becoming a mother.

It's so funny because I'd assumed these were stupid questions, or questions that surely must be posited and answered in some body of philosophical literature—but is it really the case that people go ahead and become mothers without knowing their stances on the various issues this book raises?

I highlighted numerous passages that mirrored my own thoughts on being a parent. It made me feel so much better that I wasn't the only one thinking them! For example: people say that once you become a parent, it becomes the best thing you do in life. But I didn't want the things I currently hold as important to pale in importance, lose my ambition for other aspects of life. Of course, that wouldn't matter if something even better came along, but even so I wouldn't want it and may even resent those who don't share the same passion for my pursuits.

Heti bares herself like this on every page with bravery, incisiveness and wit. Not to be missed!
Profile Image for Anna.
759 reviews514 followers
November 2, 2018
New favourite!

Reading Women Challenge 2018

#9. A book by an Australian or a Canadian author

“On the one hand, the joy of children. On the other hand, the misery of them. On the one hand, the freedom of not having children. On the other hand, the loss of never having had them—but what is there to lose?”

Any attempt at a review of this book would be too personal, as plenty of Heti’s aphoristic paragraphs mirrored my thoughts on the questions beings asked. Needless to say, I couldn’t have read this at a better time!

Why are we still having children? Why was it important for that doctor that I did? A woman must have children because she must be occupied. (…) There is something threatening about a woman who is not occupied with children. There is something at-loose-ends feeling about such a woman. What is she going to do instead? What sort of trouble will she make?

Living one way is not a criticism of every other way of living. Is that the threat of the woman without kids? Yet the woman without kids is not saying that no woman should have kids (…). One person’s life is not a political or general statement about how all lives should be. Other lives should be able to exist alongside our own without any threat or judgment at all.
429 reviews1 follower
July 6, 2018
This book was well reviewed and well written; unfortunately it was hypnotizingly tedious to read. It was as if the worst, most self-indulgent aspects of a 2am dorm discussion about the meaning of life with nineteen year olds were distilled into a pseudo-novel. It may sound smart in excerpts, but in its full length it just sounds wankerish. The author ponders with distress whether to have a child and then ponders the question again and again until she’s too old to get pregnant. The end.
Profile Image for Elizabeth (Plant Based Bride).
414 reviews3,749 followers
January 2, 2023
As a 30-year-old childless married woman, I was intrigued by a book exploring the inner monologue of a woman grappling with the decision of whether or not to be a mother. And while the first few chapters gave me a few quotes that deeply resonated with me and made me stop and think about the motherhood question in a new light, the book quickly dissolved into arrogant, privileged naval-gazing that I simply couldn’t stomach (with few and far between sparkling diamonds of insight or relatability strewn half-hazardly in the rough). I don’t feel that reading this was a waste of time, as some of the ideas Heti presented helped me to frame my perspective in a new way. But overall, this jumble of self-indulgent journal entries left me more frustrated and annoyed than intrigued and inspired.

You can struggle with the decision of whether or not to become a mother while also acknowledging the great privilege it is to have the freedom to experience the struggle of indecision at all.

(Also, the narrator admitting to being jealous of gay men getting to coming out was truly the last straw. What a trash take.)

Trigger/Content Warnings: pregnancy, abortion, depression, the holocaust, explicit sexual content

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Profile Image for lou.
239 reviews282 followers
February 4, 2022
this would be 5 stars but she had to add that paragraph of her being jealous of gay men because they "have a coming out"... so unnecessary, didnt add anything to the book, and why would you think something like that?
even if i'm only 18, the topic of motherhood has been a conversation that my family had a lot of times, for a variety of reasons, the main being i'm the last person with my surname in my family (yeah, they dont know i'm a lesbian) and i dont think anyone takes me seriously when i say i do not want any kids. this book opened a lot of conversations in my head, and created arguments that i didnt even knew how much sense they made like yeah, why are you so worried that we are not having kids??? you're scared or???? and also how bad you feel when you dont want something that you know makes everyone happier.
i see myself coming back to this a lot, the points she made !!!! i'm just obsessed. even if our main character has a really specific story because her mother and grandmother, its a really universal because, i think, everyone that has an uterus thinks about this pressure of ~following the nature~ and if you dont, you're completely erased and minimized, which is so upsetting because we can be so much more than people that can give birth.
Profile Image for Nastja .
225 reviews1,395 followers
March 21, 2021
Это действительно блестящее, невероятной художественной силы эссе о выборе или не-выборе женщиной материнства и о материнстве как таковом, которое, к сожалению, немного закружило обрамляющим потоком автофикшена. Героиня то и дело глядится в собственный пупок, вываливая в текст во многом изнаночную сторону своей жизни, и, несмотря на то, что само эссе от этого кажется еще более структурированным и более звучным, с героиней/автором очень трудно свыкнуться на протяжении всего текста. Хотя, повторюсь, композиционный смысл текста именно в этом – во всесторонней фиксации внутреннего голоса женщины, которая решила прожить жизнь, которая была бы в итоге целиком и полностью только ее.

Having children is nice. What a great victory to be not-nice. The nicest thing to give the world is a child. Do I ever want to be that nice?
Profile Image for Melissa.
Author 17 books3,352 followers
June 27, 2019
this book is a dear friend to my soul: a reassuring balm, a giddy compatriot, and also, just, exquisite.
Profile Image for Jaylen.
78 reviews939 followers
March 5, 2022
Absolutely magical. Heti’s work means the world to me, I am fearful of her genius. She tackles all of my preoccupations on the page and makes me feel less alone. Go off queen!
Profile Image for Liina Haabu.
318 reviews268 followers
July 11, 2018
To have or not to have children - “The Mother of All Decisions”, as the New York Times review by Elaine Blair stated. Sheila Heti takes 284 pages to autopsy it (through a nameless narrator) in regards to where she stands as time is running out. “I am in the afternoon of my life. The time for children is breakfast,” she says.

It becomes clear quite early on that she has actually made up her mind already - she prefers her creative freedom and doesn’t let herself be fooled by the burden of conventionality and peer pressure. This is, of course, a grand oversimplification of her reasoning.

On one hand, she feels abandonment and guilt of not wanting what seems to be the destined path and the thing that brings joy to others. On the other, she fiercely argues her point and stands her ground. Her ambivalent feelings are so honest and raw. They really hurt:

“I fear that without children, it doesn’t look like you have made a choice, or that you’re doing anything but just continuing on - drifting.”

The feeling that others enter a different realm where the meaning of life suddenly makes its long-awaited appearance:

"There is a kind of sadness at not wanting the things that give so many other people their life's meaning. There can be sadness at not living out a more universal story--the supposed life cycle--how out of one life cycle another cycle is supposed to come. But when out of your life, no new cycle comes, what does that feel like? It feels like nothing. Yet there is a bit of a let-down feeling when the great things that happen in the lives of others--you don't actually want those things for yourself."

The undoable act hides in itself a taboo that is far greater than the choice of not doing it - the regret of having kids when you have had them. The narrator knows that and ruthlessly searches, turning her insides out.

The point of no return is beautifully phrased in many instances. The pain of longing but not making any actual steps:

“What holds me back is my actual freedom - my reluctance before the void. Reluctant to make my own meanings, in case I make them up badly, afraid of being laughed at, a fool, apart”

This book really touched me and voiced a lot of what I am ruminating about but have not had the wisdom to phrase. In fact so, that I am reluctant to criticise it because the literary value of it for me - tho above average - was and is beyond the point in this instance. It was privileged and self-indulgent at times, but a much-needed read still.
Profile Image for Michelle Hart.
Author 2 books130 followers
January 14, 2018
"There is a kind of sadness at not wanting the things that give so many other people their life's meaning. There can be sadness at not living out a more universal story--the supposed life cycle--how out of one life cycle another cycle is supposed to come. But when out of your life, no new cycle comes, what does that feel like? It feels like nothing. Yet there is a bit of a let-down feeling when the great things that happen in the lives of others--you don't actually want those things for yourself."

as a literary-philosophical meditation on what motherhood means--especially for someone who is not a mother and/or has little interest in becoming one--this book is excellent, every sentence a gem. if heti's last 'novel' was called how should a person be (a book i loved and have read multiple times), than this one is how should a woman be. and what happens when that doesn't line up with the way culture and society expects of her? heti's incredibly honest wrestling with these ideas is compelling. i highlighted brilliant passages on almost every page.

but as a novel--as something with a forward-pressing narrative--this doesn't work at all. what little story there is here gets gobbled up in the philosophy. the result is more essay than novel, which would be fine if it weren't also 300+ pages. i found myself reading a few pages, chewing on its rich metaphysical meat, and then tossing the book aside for a few hours.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews28 followers
December 19, 2019
Audiobook...Library Overdrive narrated by Canadian author...Sheila Heti.

“Motherhood” was a shortlisted finalist for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
It’s considered an ‘autobiographical-novel’.... focused on her deliberation on whether or not to have children.
She explores the emphasis society places on motherhood and how women are judged regardless of their decision......
.....in a very unique question and answer format.
Who was Sheila asking questions to you might ask? Her spiritual soul ....( lots and lots and ‘LOTS’ of questions).
I found myself trying to guess and anticipate the answers before ‘the soul’ said either “yes” or “no”.
Sheila examines and cross-examines herself on whether or not to have a child before it’s too late.

And my gosh.....
Sheila Heti is adorable to listen to!!!
Her written words combined with her aesthetically pleasing voice radiates emotion, sincerity, warmth, vulnerability, curiosity, and intelligence...
....with almost a childlike innocence. I found her totally endearing!

When our daughter, Ali, 34, a newly official Canadian resident, married Adam, 37, ( a born Canadian),
almost two years ago, they were clear about not having children.
They’re fine with their choice. Paul and I are too.
It’s amazing how many times in the past - many- years I’ve been asked about grandchildren. Have them? Want them? Am I worried about no legacy?
.......”worried?” REALLY?
No, I’m not worried.

Ali and Adam have gotten the question dozens of times since marriage too? Kids yet? etc.
....Ali is an artist.
....Adam is an artist.
....Katy, our older daughter, single, 38, is an artist.

Sheila explores whether or not being an artist herself - creativity and being a writer, counts as a legacy.
‘Soul’ answered “yes”.

Much of Sheila‘s exploration, questions and conversations, are centered around her relationship with Miles, her boyfriend.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book... ( enjoyed Sheila),

It’s heartwarming...
and parts are brilliantly insightful.

Profile Image for Gregory Baird.
196 reviews750 followers
May 14, 2018
Warning: if you are not into novels as therapy, this is not the book for you. If authorial gimmicks are not your thing, this is not the book for you.

Motherhood is 300 pages of highly performative therapy as a writer agonizes over whether or not to have children. Is this writer a stand-in for Sheila Heti herself? I confess I don't care enough to look into the matter. Certainly, Heti has an avant-garde approach to novel-writing. How Should a Person Be?, which I have not read, was largely taken from recorded conversations with Heti's friends. The writer in Motherhood constantly uses an I Ching method of asking three coins yes or no questions and then getting an answer by flipping them. In Heti's introduction, she informs us that the answers the coins give were the results of real coin tosses. 

If your eyes are already rolling (mine were), stay away from this book. The questions the author asks the coins only make matters worse--revealing both a masturbatory need for self-reflection and a simultaneous need to hide actual accountability or introspection behind what is literally just a coin toss. Imagine allowing a Magic 8-Ball control your life. 

Perhaps I'm the Scully to Heti's Mulder, but this does not work for me. At all. Both the gimmick of forming most of a novel around a series of yes or no questions and the highly suspect thinking that goes into the questions in the first place (not to mention how it interprets the answers). 

I hated how Allison Bechdel used Are You My Mother? as a form of far-too-analyzed therapy, but I hated this even more. 

Grade: D-

You can find more of my reviews on my blog.
Profile Image for Krista.
1,368 reviews544 followers
April 14, 2018
Whether I want a kid is a secret I keep from myself – it is the greatest secret I keep from myself.

Motherhood is billed as a novel but reads like a diary; recording all of the uncertainty and changes of heart of Sheila Heti's unnamed narrator (like Heti herself, a Toronto-based writer approaching forty) as she tries to figure out if she wants to give birth before her unwinding biological clock renders the decision-making process moot. Being of this certain age, the narrator is surrounded by friends who are already mothers or struggling with their own uncertainties about having children, and everywhere she goes, people can't help but ask when she's finally going to have a baby or offer up a range of opinions on what she should do with her life. Maybe it's because I am already a mother and older than Heti and her narrator, but nothing about this felt “daring” or “provocative” to me: if you want kids, try to have kids; if you don't, don't. I honestly don't feel like a childless couple (or more pointedly, a childless woman) has let the human team down, so nothing resonated with me. And reading a diary-like narrative of someone recording their uncertainty about such a low-impact (to me) decision, in which it all revolves around I feel, I want, I need, made the narrator seem self-obsessed and tedious. Still, there were bits I liked in this book, and I can certainly acknowledge that there are probably others out there for whom this narrative does resonate: not really for me, maybe for you. (Usual caveat: I read an ARC and quotes used may not be in their final forms.)

Sometimes I'm convinced that a child will add depth to all things – just bring a background of depth and meaning to whatever it is I do. I also think I might have brain cancer. There's something I can feel in my brain, like a finger pressing down.

There's some quirky not-quite-humour and ironic winkery in this book, and I especially liked a device that is introduced early: using three coins for I Ching-like divination, the narrator asks yes or no questions that somehow get to the roots of her deepest thinking. Although I had to keep reminding myself that I was reading a novel and not a memoir, a foreword assures the reader that “While not everything in books is true, in this book, all results from the flipping of coins is true” – and the effect is that every time the narrator gets a “no” from the coins to a question that she assumed would garner a “yes”, she would need to keep rephrasing and reshaping her questions, and these changes in thinking led to epiphanies. (And also led to some laughs – as in the pictures included that show the various places in her bedroom where she might keep a kitchen knife [as a personification of the demon she needs to ask for a blessing]; did Heti really do this, at the urging of her coins? I liked the unbalanced feeling of not knowing how real-to-life this book was.) I was less keen on meetings with actual fortune-tellers and the constant recounting of dreams, but appreciate how they try to tap into deeper-level thinking.

If Motherhood could be said to have a plot at all, it revolves around this nearing-forty-year-old woman, who has enjoyed success as a writer and who is in a longterm committed relationship with what seems like a decent and supportive man: he has a child from a former relationship (so our narrator is already a part-time stepmother) and he is willing to have a baby with her if she wants. She is healthy (a checkup confirms that she's fertile), she has enough money for her needs, and with a safe and stable life, there doesn't seem to be any reason not to have a baby – if that's what she wants. Even so, she seems to think that being a writer and being a mother is an either-or choice, and she can't decide whether the presumed benefits of motherhood would offset the sacrifice:

What is wrong with living your life for a mother, instead of a son or daughter? There can be nothing wrong in it. If my desire is to write, and for the writing to defend, and for the defence to really live – not just for one day, but for a thousand days, or ten thousand days – that is no less viable a human aspiration than having a child with your mind set on eternity. Art is eternity backwards. Art is written for one's ancestors, even if those ancestors are elected, like our literary mothers and fathers are. We write for them. Children are eternity forwards. My sense of eternity is backwards through time. The farther back in time I can go, the deeper into eternity I feel I can pierce.

An interesting pushback to this philosophy is that the narrator's grandmother survived the Holocaust, and although a nonpractising Jew herself, the narrator wonders if she should feel a duty towards repopulating in the name of those lost. And yet as an artist:

A book lives in every person who reads it. You can't just snuff it out. My grandmother got away from the camps so she could live. I want my grandmother to live in everybody, not just in one body from between my legs.

In this way, the narrator goes back and forth – seeing the joys of motherhood after one encounter with a friend, seeing nothing but sacrifice after another – and meanwhile, years pass and she's no closer to a decision; all while that biological clock ticks down. If the narrator was a person I knew in real life, and every time I met her she gave me her new philosophy on motherhood and her changing desires, I fear I'd find her tiresome and try to avoid her. A book that provides this same one-sided monologue doesn't work much better. (But again, another reader in the throes of this situation just might find this fascinating.)
Profile Image for Banu Yıldıran Genç.
Author 1 book672 followers
November 15, 2019
feminist edebiyatta çok önemli bir metin bence. modern kadının içine düştüğü annelik çıkmazını didik didik eden, ruhunu bize açan, rüyaları, spiritüel merakları, psikolojik yorumları ve çocukluğundan taşıdığı yaralarıyla anne olmamayı seçen otuzlarının sonuna gelmiş bir kadın. anne olmayı seçmekle seçmemenin çıkmazını eşitleyen ve her an değişen düşünceler... en bunalımlı zamanda pms, ovülasyon, kanama bölümleriyle ilerleyen, bir kadının bir ayının nasıl da hormonlarıyla yönetildiğini, erkeklerin hayatının nasıl kolay olduğunu bize yeniden hissettiren bir roman.
fotoğraflar, zar oyunları romanın yenilikçi kısmı ama işte artık içimizde hep var olan soru klasik... bir kadın doğurmak zorunda mı? doğurmazsa eksik mi?
agos kirk'e yazd��ğım yazı:
Profile Image for Heath.
27 reviews14 followers
November 27, 2018
Though I really could have done without that part where the narrator rhapsodizes about how she wishes that she was gay, specifically a gay man, so that she could announce publicly to everyone who she is.
It made me want to announce to the narrator exactly how I wish I had a book deal, so I could announce just how I am.
Profile Image for Marcello S.
511 reviews211 followers
May 15, 2019
Non si può far venire qualcuno al mondo solo per risolvere una disputa mentale, o perché si è curiosi di tutte le esperienze umane, o per non sentirsi diversi dagli amici. Io a un figlio potrei dare solo una vita peggiore di quella che è stata data a me. Coma fa la gente a essere così sicura di sé da pensarla diversamente?

Avere o non avere (figli).
Uno dei libri più ossessivi (e riusciti) letti ultimamente.
È allo stesso tempo diario, monologo, sogno, conversazioni. Sembra una testimonianza, una confessione, una lunga seduta di psicoanalisi. Un terreno di lotta.
Sheila Heti ha padronanza di ritmo e prosa, capacità di animare i periodi calibrando le scelte lessicali, un rapporto intimo di interrogazione con il linguaggio fatto di forze contrastanti che danno vita ad uno spazio emotivo forte seppur indefinito.

La protagonista - che ha molteplici punti di contatto con l’autrice - ha 37 anni e vive a Toronto con Miles, che sembra essere un bel tipo e sta iniziando una carriera da avvocato. È testarda e insicura, piange spesso e ha qualche problema nel rapporto con la madre, che fa il medico.
Cerca di dare risposta alle sue domande più urgenti consultando sensitive, tarocchi e, soprattutto, l’I Ching. Crede, ma di questo non è per nulla sicura, di non volere figli e questo la pone in contrasto con chiunque si confronta, con la cultura nordamericana e in particolare con quella ebraica, nella quale le donne vivono ancora il ruolo/peso di dover generare nuove vite dopo l'Olocausto.

Heti parla di scrittura, famiglia, rapporto di coppia, scopate, ciclo mestruale e fertilità agli sgoccioli.
E poi i litigi, l’idea di avere un ruolo e un orgoglio da mantenere, le sofferenze senza ragione:

Ieri sera io e Miles siamo andati al matrimonio di Libby ed è stato lì che abbiamo litigato. Lo sposo e la sposa: com’era incredibile il loro amore, con lei accanto a lui in un bellissimo abito nuziale. Ero sicura che sarebbero rimasti insieme e avrebbero costruito una vita insieme - in un modo che ami sembrava impossibile. Non sarei mai riuscita a credere nell’importanza del mio matrimonio tanto da mettere su una bellissima e costosa festa di nozze. Non avrei mai potuto convincere qualcuno a sborsare quella somma. (…) Nel frattempo, io e Miles abbiamo litigato, con lui che mi lanciava occhiate truci, io che minacciavo di andarmene e tutti e due muti sul taxi che ci riportava a casa, dove sempre senza una parola ci siamo messi a letto: io per prima, lui ore dopo, dopo essere rimasto sveglio in salotto, a giocare ai videogiochi, per ore.

Da una parte vive l'abbandono e il senso di colpa di non volere quello che sembra essere il percorso destinato per una donna, quello che porta gioia alle persone che incontra.
Dall'altro sostiene ferocemente la sua posizione con sentimenti ambivalenti, onesti e crudi. Se dovesse diventare madre avrà la possibilità di concedersi abbastanza spazio o tempo, anche per non fare niente? Se dovesse fare la scelta sbagliata la rimpiangerà per sempre? Nessuna decisione sembra quella giusta, ancor di più quando influenza una vita intera.

Rieccomi qui - tornata nel mio appartamento che è pieno di libri. Gli spiriti solitari si riempiono la vita di libri. Non vivo nella natura. Non vivo nella società. Non vivo nelle mie relazioni. Vivo nei libri. Quanto bene potranno fare tutti i libri del mondo, scritti dagli uomini più solitari che siano mai esistiti?

Siamo dalle parti di Ben Lerner o Rachel Cusk, a metà strada tra fiction e saggistica. Resta un romanzo, e in questi termini viene recepito, ma dove l’artificio è volto a creare la sensazione che non ci sia artificio. All’interno ci sono anche alcune immagini, non indispensabili ma che aumentano la sensazione di farlo sembrare un prodotto ibrido. È un’idea di autofiction (o post fiction) che ha potenzialità enormi e che mi gasa sempre molto.

L’arrovellarsi per quasi 300 pagine sulla possibilità o meno di diventare madre la trovo molto contemporanea, inedita, impossibile da concepire in un’altra epoca. È un romanzo coraggioso e originale, che contiene riflessioni sul ruolo delle donne nei secoli passati, nei quali erano viste principalmente come esseri umani di passaggio il cui compito principale era mettere al mondo un uomo.

Non carico col voto perché a tratti ho avuto la sensazione scadesse nel ripetitivo/riempitivo.
Le parti ispirate all’I Ching con domande/risposte e lancio delle monete: trascurabili.

PS. La collana Il Contesto di Sellerio si conferma una tra le più interessanti in Italia. Scelta dei titoli, font, qualità di stampa e della carta. Peccato per le copertine che si accartocciano solo a guardarle.
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