A Life's Work

A Life's Work

On Becoming A Mother

Book - 2002
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The experience of motherhood is an experience in contradiction. It is commonplace and it is impossible to imagine. It is prosaic and it is mysterious. It is at once banal, bizarre, compelling, tedious, comic, and catastrophic. To become a mother is to become the chief actor in a drama of human existence to which no one turns up. It is the process by which an ordinary life is transformed unseen into a story of strange and powerful passions, of love and servitude, of confinement and compassion.

In a book that is touching, hilarious, provocative, and profoundly insightful, novelist Rachel Cusk attempts to tell something of an old story set in a new era of sexual equality. Cusk's account of a year of modern motherhood becomes many stories: a farewell to freedom, sleep, and time; a lesson in humility and hard work; a journey to the roots of love; a meditation on madness and mortality; and most of all a sentimental education in babies, books, toddler groups, bad advice, crying, breastfeeding, and never being alone.
Publisher: New York : Picador USA, 2002.
ISBN: 9780312269876
Branch Call Number: 306.8743 C986
Characteristics: 213 p. ; 21 cm.


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Feb 03, 2014

Funny, insightful, narcissistic.

Feb 04, 2010

One of the best books on motherhood I have read. This was the book I craved in the first year of my daughter's life but didn't find until now. Better late than never. This book is by turns tender, scathing, hilarious, and disturbingly accurate. So often I found myself nodding in recognition and agreement with Cusk's observations and experiences. Don't expect cliches about the joy of motherhood. Expect a book about the search for the self at a time when a woman is called on to be her most selfless. Don't expect "What to Expect"--in fact, Cusk takes dead aim at all the advice books, as well as the other trappings of pregnancy and early years child rearing--pre-natal yoga, breast feeding clinics, public health visitors, mom and baby groups, and other new mothers who make you feel guilty when you complain. Plus the prose is very beautiful and moving.

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