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Selfish, Shallow, and Self-absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids
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Published:
Tantor Media, Inc. 2015
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Checked Out
Description
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.
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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
08/18/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781494596170
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Meghan Daum. (2015). Selfish, Shallow, and Self-absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids. Unabridged Tantor Media, Inc.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Meghan Daum. 2015. Selfish, Shallow, and Self-absorbed: Sixteen Writers On the Decision Not to Have Kids. Tantor Media, Inc.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Meghan Daum, Selfish, Shallow, and Self-absorbed: Sixteen Writers On the Decision Not to Have Kids. Tantor Media, Inc, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Meghan Daum. Selfish, Shallow, and Self-absorbed: Sixteen Writers On the Decision Not to Have Kids. Unabridged Tantor Media, Inc, 2015.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 19:34:48
Date Updated:
Dec 09, 2020 17:33:59
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Last Availability Change:
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Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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      • bioText: Meghan Daum is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and the author of The Unspeakable, My Misspent Youth, Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived in That House, and The Quality of Life Report. Her essays and reviews have appeared in the New Yorker, Harper's, the New York Times Book Review, Vogue, and other publications.
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Selfish, Shallow, and Self-absorbed
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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 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.
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        October 26, 2015
        Contrary to the title, none of the 16 essays in this absorbing collection reflect particularly selfish or shallow motivations for childlessness. Instead, the writers explore the challenges, considerations, and opportunities their lives have afforded them by choosing not to have children. The essays range from the emotional to the practical to the philosophical, but combine to provide a meaningful dialogue about why people choose not to have kids that challenge some typical representations of child-free adults. Voice actors Perrin and Heller make a great pair for the audio edition, with Perrin reading essays written by women and Heller covering the male authors. With only three essays by men, Heller has the lighter job, but still captures the tone and rhythm of each essay. Perrin has the bigger challenge, providing the voice and perspective of each of the 13 women writers. At times, the essays blur together, but her delivery is always confident and clear. Listeners will never be bored.
        A Picador hardcover.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        January 12, 2015
        Contrary to the title, none of the 16 essays in this absorbing collection reflect particularly selfish or shallow motivations for childlessness. As Daum points out in her introduction, she and the other writers surveyed here “are neither hedonists nor ascetics,” nor “do we hate children.” Some entries are heart-wrenching—especially Elliott Holt’s “Just an Aunt”—while others are downright hilarious. Geoff Dyer announces that he’s “had only two ambitions in life: to put on weight (it’s not going to happen) and never to have children (which, so far, I’ve achieved).” He pegs the latter goal in part to his reaction to the argument that having children gives life meaning, which rests on an assumption he doesn’t share: “that life needs a meaning or purpose!” In one of the more rigorous and thoughtful essays, Laura Kipnis deftly argues that the so-called maternal instinct is really a “socially organized choice masquerading as a natural one.” Pam Houston questions the familiar social message that encourages women to “have it all” by juggling motherhood and a fulfilling career. Elegantly giving voice to her childlessness, she observes that “love, like selfishness and generosity, is not exclusive to one demographic; it infuses every single thing we do and are.”

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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 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...
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