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A Life's Work: On Becoming a Mother (English Edition) Format Kindle
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book, A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother is multi-award-winning author Rachel Cusk’s honest memoir that captures the life-changing wonders of motherhood.
Selected by the New York Times as one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years
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.
“Funny and smart and refreshingly akin to a war diary—sort of Apocalypse Baby Now…A Life’s Work is wholly original and unabashedly true.”—The New York Times Book Review
Description du produit
Revue de presse
"An incitement to riot. I laughed out loud, often, in painful recognition" (Esther Freud)
"A very funny book about very serious things… Cusk has created a work of beauty and wisdom. And belly laughs. A lovely thing" (Suzanne Moore New Statesman)
"A breath of fresh air. It took me back to raw emotions since edited from my official history" (Maureen Freely Independent)
"Cusk is not afraid to address frankly the grief for freedom lost, the despair, pain, boredom and guilt – all in the context of the mother’s unspeakable love for the baby… Perhaps the most beautifully written and moving book on the subject to be published in recent years" (Stephanie Merritt Observer) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition kindle_edition.
Biographie de l'auteur
Détails sur le produit
- ASIN : B00S55V7IG
- Éditeur : Picador; First édition (17 février 2015)
- Langue : Anglais
- Taille du fichier : 2144 KB
- Synthèse vocale : Activée
- Lecteur d’écran : Pris en charge
- Confort de lecture : Activé
- X-Ray : Activé
- Word Wise : Activé
- Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 226 pages
- Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon : 236,309 en Boutique Kindle (Voir les 100 premiers en Boutique Kindle)
- Commentaires client :
À propos de l'auteur
Meilleurs commentaires provenant d’autres pays
What I was really looking for was a book which really tells it the way it is, and this is that book, and then some! It's a book written by someone who seems to think a lot like me, and she describes experiences I can relate to extremely well.
Rachel Cusk (author) tells in an open and heartbreakingly honest way about her own expectations on becoming a mother, which were systematically shattered one at a time, and how she dealt with the fallout.
She describes in stark vividness her treatment by midwives, health visitors, doctors, her friends, her partner. And of course, there is the relationship with the baby, who won't sleep, won't feed, and with whom she can't bond despite clearly trying very hard.
This book caused real outrage at its publication, but to my mind it is the most honest and realistic account of new parenthood I've ever read. I now feel much better prepared for it happening to us.
I felt her description of when she first got the baby struck deep parallels with my own experience as a new doctor: the endless fatigue, the endless demands, the ever-widening gap between my own rosy preconceptions and the awful reality.
Cusk deserves considerable praise for having the courage to stand up and tell the painful truth, which goes hard against the grain of most literature in this field.
The answer is that her partner quit his job to take care of the children "while Rachel writes her book about looking after the children." In the author's words, this book "describes a period in which time seemed to go round in circles rather than in any chronological order." Very quickly, the baby develops colic. Surely, Cusk writes, there is a better word for this, some sort of German word meaning lifegrief.
At the end of three months: "I see that she has become somebody. I realize, too, that the crying has stopped, that she has survived the first pain of existence and out of it wrought herself. And she has wrought me, too, because although I have not helped or understood, I have been there all along and this, I suddenly and certainly know, is motherhood; this mere sufficiency, this presence."
My only quarrel with the memoir is that perhaps a better title would have been simply On Becoming a Mother, as these pages are limited to the initial weeks and months after the baby is born, to this transition time of becoming a mother, which the author so clearly does.
A book to read before you get pregnant, as well as afterwards (if you can stay awake long enough to read.) And don't forget Anne Lamott's, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year. Two books that speak the truth.
Cusk's account is a quick read, her prose very often elegant. She hits a number of nails squarely on the head--in her descriptions of the constant demands made on breastfeeding mothers, for example, or the drama and tension inherent in bringing a baby out into the public, or one's cautious anticipation of freedom when it looks like the kid may finally sleep. She talks about the parents' eventual containment in a single, safe room once the baby changes "from rucksack to escaped zoo animal," an alteration in lifestyle that expectant parents, reading the standard parenting books, would not likely anticipate. Cusk describes, perfectly, the "mess and endemic domestic chaos" of a child-occupied house, "which no amount of work appears to eradicate." And she details for the non-parent, wont to lie in of a Saturday morning, what weekends are like for parents: "What the outside world refers to as 'the weekend' is a round trip to the ninth circle of hell for parents.... You are woken on a Saturday morning at six or seven o'clock by people getting into your bed. They cry or shout loudly in your ear. They kick you in the stomach, in the face."
Cusk is at her best when describing parenthood in scenes such as the above. Less successful are the more philosophical passages of the book (the female is "a world steeped in its own mild, voluntary oppression, a world at whose fringes one may find intersections to the real: to particular kinds of unhappiness, or discrimination, or fear, or to a whole realm of existence both past and present that grows more individuated and indeterminate and inarticulatable as time goes by") and the strange inclusion and discussion of parenthood-related literary passages culled, for example, from Jane Eyre and Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth.
A lot of people could benefit from reading Cusk's account. New mothers will find solace, perhaps, in its pages, validation of their own feelings of isolation and resentment. Working fathers ought to read it, so they can better understand the complaints of their shut-in wives, for whom "work is considered an easy, attractive option." And the childless friends of parents will find the book a highly readable explanation of what is happening in their friends' lives.
Reviewed by Debra Hamel, author of Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece