15 May, 2021

Listen To The Ultrasound

Notwithstanding the gaps, an important first step towards a more politically astute and personally heartfelt portrait of motherhood in all its complexity.

Listen To The Ultrasound
Until recently it seemed as though all books about mothers fell into two categories: those that told you ‘how to’, and those that said why you should not. First-wave feminism characterised motherhood as "the biological curse of femininity". In the battle of the sexes, mothers were the turncoats.

More than any other experience, motherhood is about duality: virtually a definition of the divided self. In A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother, Rachel Cusk writes that "birth is not merely that which divides women from men: it also divides women from themselves, so that a woman’s understanding of what it is to exist is profoundly changed..."

Rinki Bhattacharya’s collection is in three parts: ‘Our Mothers’, ‘Ourselves’ and ‘Our Children’. This simple structure has a curious overall effect of seeing the biological clock run backwards. We start with death beds and end up with cradles.

Five of the eight authors in the first section talk about their mothers’ death, and the poignant reversal of roles—when the...

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