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 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, sixteen acclaimed writers explain why they have chosen to eschew parenthood. 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.
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed makes a thoughtful and passionate case for why parenthood is not the only path in life, taking our parent-centric, kid-fixated, baby-bump-patrolling culture to task in the process. What emerges is a more nuanced, diverse view of what it means to live a full, satisfying life.
|Publisher:||Tantor Media, Inc.|
|Edition description:||MP3 - Unabridged CD|
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Johnny Heller has earned multiple Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, including one for Closing Time by Joe Queenan, and has earned two Audie Awards and many more nominations. Named one of the Top Fifty Narrators of the Twentieth Century by AudioFile, he has recorded over five hundred titles.
Jo Anna Perrin is an accomplished actor who has appeared in film and television, as well as on stage in New York, Los Angeles, and regionally. The narrator of numerous audiobooks, Jo Anna has garnered critical praise from AudioFile magazine, Booklist, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I bought this book as a mother of a daughter who is considering not having children. I found writer’s stories insightful. A mix of men and women tell their personal experience on the topic of having children. No two writers were alike on their journey to being childless. One of the writers would be satisfied to learn that they now have at least one person with an educated assumption. I would recommend the book for readers on both sides of the issue.
This anthology of essays by well-known writers on the topic of childlessness by choice brings a fresh and thoughtful analysis of this controversial idea. Daring to challenge the baby-centric culture of the 00's and '10's, this book will make you feel better about your choice not to reproduce, for whatever personal reason you may have.
I really enjoyed the writing and opinions in this book. Written by 12 women and 4 men, these essays are thought-provoking and well thought out by individuals who know themselves, what they want, and what they *don't* want. I love that the #1 common thread throughout was the desire to have more time for reading and writing. You are preaching to the choir on that one! And let's not forget another important benefit of being child-free: time to sleep. Contributors come from various backgrounds: intact homes, broken homes, single-parent homes, heterosexual, homosexual, black, white, Jewish, you name it. What I found most thought-provoking was the complete annihilation of the myth that those who choose a child-free life are somehow "just being selfish"...in fact, people actually HAVE children for myriad selfish reasons, whether to meet the expectations of family, society at large, spousal pressure, or what have you. Also, this pressure is not the same across the board for all racial and economic groups; perhaps this is no secret, but it's certainly not discussed openly. Unfortunately, I had to return this book to the library, but it's definitely worth a purchase. I've only read a handful of the contributing authors--Pam Houston of "Cowboys Are My Weakness" fame comes to mind--but if I'd had time, I'm sure I would've enjoyed all 16 essays. Editor Meghan Daum is no slouch, either. Her story is contributed in the Introduction. Highly recommended and a must-read for anyone grappling with the decision whether to have children, those who are sick of the pressure from others to have children, and anyone who thinks of her (or him) self as a feminist.