Black Milk

Black Milk

On Writing, Motherhood, and the Harem Within

Book - 2011
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An acclaimed Turkish novelist's personal account of balancing a writer's life with a mother's life.

After the birth of her first child in 2006, Turkish writer Elif Shafek suffered from postpartum depression that triggered a profound personal crisis. Infused with guilt, anxiety, and bewilderment about whether she could ever be a good mother, Shafak stopped writing and lost her faith in words altogether. In this elegantly written memoir, she retraces her journey from free-spirited, nomadic artist to dedicated by emotionally wrought mother. Identifying a constantly bickering harem of women who live inside of her, each with her own characteristics-the cynical intellectual, the goal-oriented go-getter, the practical-rational, the spiritual, the maternal, and the lustful-she craves harmony, or at least a unifying identity. As she intersperses her own experience with the lives of prominent authors such as Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Alice Walker, Ayn Rand, and Zelda Fitzgerald, Shafak looks for a solution to the inherent conflict between artistic creation and responsible parenting.

With searing emotional honesty and an incisive examination of cultural mores within patriarchal societies, Shafak has rendered an important work about literature, motherhood, and spiritual well-being.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Viking, 2011
ISBN: 9780670022649
Branch Call Number: Literature 894.353 SHA
Additional Contributors: Zapsu, Hande 1983-


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Dec 16, 2018

Her introduction is brilliant. Remainder of the book isn't sure what it's trying to say.

Mar 06, 2018

An honest, heartbreaking, intelligent and beautiful read; also has wonderful references to several other female writers as well

inasalsaberi Oct 04, 2017

This is a beautiful record of every super woman who tries so hard to keep up with motherhood and career. It is put in a smart way that help "face the inner diversity and learn to be One".


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inasalsaberi Oct 04, 2017

"But the truth is, I wasn't interested in understanding the world. I wanted only to change it"
p. 219


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