Sheila Heti is the author of eight books of fiction and nonfiction, including How Should a Person Be?, which was a New York Times Notable Book and was named a best book of the year by the New Yorker. She is co-editor of the New York Times bestseller Women in Clothes and is the former interviews editor for The Believer magazine. Her work has been published in the New York Times, the London Review of Books, the Paris Review, McSweeney’s, Harper’s, and n+1. Her most recent book, Motherhood, has been shortlisted for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Website: sheilaheti.com. Instagram: @womeninclothes.
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- “For in writing about motherhood, Heti is also writing about femininity and vocation, embodiment and mortality, history and freedom” – In the Atlantic
- “Though the narrator occasionally tries to imagine what it would be like to have a child, she knows that becoming a mother is to be permanently changed, in a way a childless woman cannot understand” – In the Baffler
- “Even choosing to write about motherhood, or in Heti’s case the decision not to become a mother, is a source of anxiety and shame, and I say that as someone who has just written a book about having kids” – In the Guardian
- “‘I lived only in the greyish, insensate world of my mind,’” she writes, and in this setting, the question is something more like this: What does it mean to have a baby? – In the Cut
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 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.