Synopses & Reviews
One of the main topics of cultural conversation during the last decade was the supposed "fertility crisis," and whether modern women could figure out a way to way to have it all-a successful, demanding career and the required 2.3 children-before their biological clock stopped ticking. Now, however, conversation has turned to whether it's necessary to have it all (see Anne-Marie Slaughter) or, perhaps more controversial, whether children are really a requirement for a fulfilling life. The idea that some women and men prefer not to have children is often met with sharp criticism and incredulity by the public and mainstream media.
In this provocative and controversial collection of essays, curated by writer Meghan Daum, thirteen acclaimed female writers explain why they have chosen to eschew motherhood. Contributors include Lionel Shriver, Sigrid Nunez, Kate Christensen, Elliott Holt, Geoff Dyer, and Tim Kreider, among others, who will give a unique perspective on the overwhelming cultural pressure of parenthood.
This collection makes a smart and passionate case for why parenthood is not the only path to a happy, productive life, and takes our parent-centric, kid-fixated, baby-bump-patrolling culture to task in the process. In this book, that shadowy faction known as the childless-by-choice comes out into the light.
"I highly recommend the book. Each essay is unique and thought-provoking." Bitch.com
"Anthologies aren't famous for changing attitudes en masse, but at the very least this one gives voice to the complexities of assuming and enjoying a 'child-free' life....The sixteen essays are cleverly arranged, creating a satisfying intellectual and emotional arc....The reader is treated to nearly every reason one might choose to forgo having children." Kate Bolick, The New York Times Book Review
"A round of applause to Meghan Daum for putting this book together....Entertaining and heartfelt." The Boston Globe
About the Author
Meghan Daum is the author of four books, most recently the collection of original essays The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion. She is also the editor of Selfish, Shallow & Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not To Have Kids. Her other books include the essay collection My Misspent Youth, the novel The Quality of Life Report, and Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House, a memoir. Since 2005, Meghan has been an opinion columnist at the Los Angeles Times, covering cultural and political topics. Meghan has written for numerous magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper's, and Vogue. She is the recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship and is currently an adjunct associate professor in the M.F.A. Writing Program at Columbia University's School of the Arts.