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.
“The book Sheila Heti’s Motherhood reminds me of the most is Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling, except that the agonizing decision is whether to create a child, and not whether to destroy one—but it’s that good, and that crazy-making. I’ve never seen anyone write about the relationship between childlessness, writing, and mother’s sadnesses the way Sheila Heti does. I know Motherhood is going to mean a lot to many different people—fully as much so as if it was a human that Sheila gave birth to—though in a different and in fact incommensurate way. That’s just one of many paradoxes that are not shied away from in this courageous, necessary, visionary book.” –Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot and The Possessed