By Elif Shafak
An acclaimed Turkish novelist's own account of balancing a writer's existence with a mother's existence.
After the delivery of her first baby in 2006, Turkish author Elif Shafek suffered from postpartum melancholy that caused a profound own situation. Infused with guilt, nervousness, and bewilderment approximately even if she may possibly ever be a superb mom, Shafak stopped writing and misplaced her religion in phrases altogether. during this elegantly written memoir, she retraces her trip from free-spirited, nomadic artist to committed by means of emotionally wrought mom. determining a always bickering harem of ladies who stay within her, every one together with her personal characteristics-the cynical highbrow, the goal-oriented go-getter, the practical-rational, the non secular, the maternal, and the lustful-she craves concord, or a minimum of a unifying id. As she intersperses her personal adventure with the lives of famous authors resembling Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Alice Walker, Ayn Rand, and Zelda Fitzgerald, Shafak seems for an answer to the inherent clash among inventive construction and liable parenting.
With searing emotional honesty and an incisive exam of cultural mores inside patriarchal societies, Shafak has rendered a big paintings approximately literature, motherhood, and religious overall healthiness.
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Additional info for Black Milk: On Writing, Motherhood, and the Harem Within
18 On June 15 of the same year Polly added to her husband’s joy by giving birth to the Marshalls’ second child, whom they named Rebecca, after Polly’s mother. Unfortunately baby Rebecca died after only five days, plunging Polly into a deep depression that only intensified in September, when a miscarriage claimed another Marshall offspring. Thomas Jefferson’s daughter Martha—a mean-spirited gossip—wrote her father that “Mrs. Marshall, once Miss Ambler, is insane. ”19 At the end of 1786 John Marshall bought his first home in Richmond, where, in December 1787, Polly gave birth to their second son, whom they named Jacquelin Ambler Marshall after Polly’s father.
He displayed such brilliance and heroism in action at New York, Trenton, Brandywine, and Germantown that Washington made him his personal aide—all but adopting the boy when he learned of his harsh, near-tragic background. Born out of wedlock to an itinerant Scottish trader on the Caribbean Island of Nevis, Hamilton was orphaned at twelve, worked as a clerk for an island merchant, and so impressed his employer with his hard work and intelligence that the merchant paid for Hamilton’s journey to New York.
Hysterical wives and terrified children watched helplessly as sheriffs’ deputies dragged farmers off to debtors’ prisons, where they languished indefinitely—unable to earn money to pay their debts and without tools to do so even if they won their freedom. indd 47 7/7/14 8:26 AM 48 | JOHN MARSHALL By 1786—five years after Yorktown—enraged farmers across the East took up pitchforks and rifles to protect their properties, firing at sheriffs who ventured too near. Reassembling their wartime companies, some set fire to debtors prisons, courthouses, and offices of county clerks.