Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Motherhood by Sheila Heti




The New Yorker reviewed Motherhood, and that was how I heard about it.  The concept sounded interesting.  How did a woman justify her decision to not have children?  The review cast it as a much more fictional and narrative work than the philosophical, nearly autobiographical one I read.  The structure also felt very light, like a tiramisu.  I found myself full after five or ten pages because the journal entries had covered so much time.  Also they presented plenty to rue. 
The book dramatized a psychological problem near and dear to me.  How were we gonna go without something whether it be fossil fuels or cigarettes or The Grid or fulfilling our parents’ expectations or government or, in this case, a child?  These routes seemed so natural that it took ungodly effort to short-circuit them.  They eased our lives, made them exciting. 
Sheila, however, dared go where her friends did not.  And she used some strange tools.  I did not think an I Ching technique would figure so prominently, that the voice of coin flips would be as present as hers.  Black-and-white pictures served as another refreshing presence. 
Upon finishing this book, I knew it would not be the last time I read it. Not only were there several abstractions worth pondering but also there was a comforting realness.  The narrator of this book, whether Sheila or a stand-in, suffered this problem bad. 
Read-alikes:
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard, religious non-fiction seeking Nature
The Parallel Apartments by Bill Cotter, literary fiction center-staging a girl who does not want her child





1 comment:

Subarna Akter said...



Great content as usual.Thank you so much.

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