By Sheila Heti,

Book cover of Motherhood

Book description

'A response - finally - to the new norms of femininity' Rachel Cusk

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,…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Motherhood as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Heti’s heady, meditative, heavily autobiographical novel documents its narrator’s personal ambivalence about the idea of motherhood.

While this is not a conventional novel with a linear plot, it is a gorgeously written reflection on what motherhood means, or could mean, in general and to our narrator in particular. With unflinching honesty, she explores not only the question of whether or not she wants a child of her own, but also her identity as her mother’s child and her position as a descendant of Holocaust survivors.

I found so much to relate to in these pages; I often set out to…

My list wouldn’t be complete without Heti’s Motherhood, which features an unnamed narrator who is approaching her 40th birthday and weighing the question of whether or not to have children.

The narrator carefully considers what she might lose and gain with either choice, weighing the unknown joys and challenges of motherhood against the more familiar joy and grief of her life as it is. The narrator’s agonizing might not be for everyone, but for me it felt equal parts electrifying and uncanny, like finding the contents of my own brain on the page.

Toward the end of the…

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