Motherhood: On the choices of being a woman (Hardback)
  • Motherhood: On the choices of being a woman (Hardback)

Motherhood: On the choices of being a woman (Hardback)

Hardback 384 Pages
Published: 03/06/2021
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Waterstones Says

The Behavourial Scientist and author of the acclaimed Sway analyses the historical and cultural constructs of motherhood and how age-old preconceptions still govern our views and opinions of women in relation to motherhood and fertility.

This is a book about motherhood. And the shapes it takes. This is a book about bodies. And how some are less than the sum of their parts. This is a book about choices. The roads we follow, and those we are not allowed to walk.

In a world where women have more choices than ever, society nevertheless continues to exert the stigma and pressures of less enlightened times when it comes to having children. We define women by whether they embrace or reject motherhood; whether they can give birth or not.

Behavioural Scientist Pragya Agarwal uses her own varied experiences and choices as a woman of South Asian heritage to examine the broader societal, historical and scientific factors that drive how we think and talk about motherhood. She looks at how women's bodies have been monitored and controlled through history, and how this shapes the political constructs of motherhood and womanhood now.

Extremely open in its honesty and meticulously researched, (M)otherhood probes themes of infertility, childbirth and reproductive justice, and makes a powerful and urgent argument for the need to tackle society's obsession with women's bodies and fertility.

Publisher: Canongate Books
ISBN: 9781838853167
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 494 g
Dimensions: 220 x 144 x 35 mm
Edition: Main


'Courageous, tender, painfully resonant and beautifully written - this is such a wise and generous exploration of womanhood and identity, and deserves to be read as widely as possible' - Daisy Buchanan

'Thought-provoking and important. As always Agarwal delves into her self, as well as rigorous research, to open our minds' - Sara Pascoe

'A book about the disparate forces of duty, stereotypes, pressure, double standards and expectations forced upon women, Agarwal cuts through all of it to examine the multiplicity and complexity of motherhood in all its myriad forms. A moving, urgent and necessary read, ultimately it is a book about love' - Laura Bates

'(M)otherhood is a valuable step towards a literature that acknowledges the breadth and variety of the parenting experience and its cultural meanings. It is touchingly personal and brave' - Angela Saini, author of Superior: The Return of Race Science

'Absolutely sensational. Revelatory and of its time, challenging myths and ingrained perceptions. I could not put it down. Everyone should read this' - Michael Cashman

'Brilliant, brave, beautiful ... such an inspiring book' - Elif Shafak

'Intimate and insightful, Pragya Agarwal expands the meaning of the word motherhood in this brilliant book. This is urgent, essential reading for everyone' - Avin Doshi

'A wide-ranging, searingly honest and timely intervention into the framing of a fundamental and fraught choice, as well as an impassioned defence of ambivalence as part of the human condition' - Olivia Sudjic

'A bold, honest and investigative book that aims to empower, educate and normalise much-needed conversations surrounding parenthood, the body and all the bits in between. Smashing stigmas and breaking the silence through the beauty of both science and poetry' - Laura Dockrill

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