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

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 3/31/2015
  • Publisher: Picador

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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.

For readers of Brigid Schulte and Debora Spar

Author Biography

MEGHAN DAUM is an op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times and the author of several books, including the essay collection My Misspent Youth and The Unspeakable...And Other Subjects of Discussion (FSG, 2014). She has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, and Vogue, and contributed to NPR’s Morning Edition and This American Life. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two dogs.

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