Jodie Noel Vinson
Many women know from a young age that they want children. But for those of us who have not felt the call, or have felt the call complicated by other needs, passions, and circumstances, Sheila Heti’s novel, Motherhood, is a long-awaited companion; a kind of What to Expect for those who are not sure they want to have children.
Little Million Doors by Chad Sweeny is an elegy mourning the death of his father. In this lyrical book-long poem, Sweeny breaks traditional barriers of language to draw a multifaceted portrait of grief.
“This is what I love about travel—how it heightens my senses. Some say travel is a vanishing act, disappearing down a rabbit hole, but for me it’s appearing, coming into awareness. I look harder, I see better. Time seems to …
Fruit of the Earth offers a sincere and intimate glimpse into both personal and cultural stories that guide the reader through a broader narrative of fragmentation and belonging. … Each poem succeeds discreetly, forming “bits and pieces” of a story that are each quite sacred and personal. When read together, Wendt’s own lived experience yields to a collective narrative, returning to the idea that people tell their stories—the ones they do not understand or cannot speak—through others’ stories.
Biss doesn’t detail the specific efforts of the mothers with whom she spoke, but she does address the chilling consequences. “When I asked a friend how she would feel if her child contracted an infectious disease and did not suffer from it but passed it to someone more vulnerable who would suffer, she looked at me in surprise. She had not, she told me, considered that possibility,” she writes.
A woman in a mental institution wants to walk into the ocean. Another is desperate to marry off her daughter, just as her own mother was desperate to marry her off. Several are stuck in loveless marriages. These women—all characters in Fayeza Hasanat’s book—feel the weight of the patriarchy more than most. … they are trapped by forces greater than themselves and Hasanat paints heartbreaking portraits of their hopeless lives.
We publish reviews that explore literary work—fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry—about any form of motherhood. This includes both newly-released work and older books that we consider to be important to the genre. Read more here.