Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed - Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids

Author(s): Meghan Daum

Social Thought

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 Christiensen, Elliott Holt, Geoff Dyer, and Tim Kreider, among others, who will give a unique perspective on the overwhelming cultural pressure of parenthood.


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A taboo will linger until someone writes lyrically enough to destroy it. Here, sixteen writers finally say what women are never supposed to but what we all know is true: pregnancy seems terrifying, birth even more so, baby lust passes, and, just as with men, work, creativity, and love affairs can crowd out everything else. Also, who really cares about getting a Mother's Day card? My three children are of course perfect in every way and yet, the longer I am a mother, the more it's obvious to me that it's not for everyone. Any woman who shares that instinct: Ignore your grandmother. Read this instead.--Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men: And the Rise of Women

MEGHAN DAUM is the author of four books, most recently "The Unspeakable...And Other Subjects of Discussion," published in 2014 by FSG. 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. An opinion columnist for "Los Angeles Times" for nearly a decade, Meghan has written for "The New Yorker," "Harper's," "Elle," and "Vogue," among other publications. She lives in Los Angeles.

General Fields

  • : 9781250052933
  • : St Martin's Press
  • : St Martin's Press
  • : April 2015
  • : 210mm X 140mm X 29mm
  • : United States
  • : November 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Meghan Daum
  • : Hardback
  • : 1
  • : 306.87
  • : 336