Curbside pickup and returns now available at 26 locations. View updated hours of operations here.

Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

Book Cover
Average Rating
Author:
Published:
Picador 2015
Status:
Checked Out
Description

SIXTEEN LITERARY LUMINARIES ON THE CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECT OF BEING CHILDLESS BY CHOICE, COLLECTED IN ONE FASCINATING ANTHOLOGY

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.

Also in This Series
Formats
Adobe EPUB eBook
Works on all eReaders (except Kindles), desktop computers and mobile devices with reading apps installed.
Kindle Book
Works on Kindles and devices with a Kindle app installed.
Need Help?
If you are having problem transferring a title to your device, please fill out this support form or visit the library so we can help you to use our eBooks and eAudio Books.
More Like This
Other Editions and Formats
More Copies In LINK+
Loading LINK+ Copies...
More Details
Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/31/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781250052940
ASIN:
B00JI0W6VE
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Meghan Daum. (2015). Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids. Picador.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Meghan Daum. 2015. Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers On the Decision Not to Have Kids. Picador.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Meghan Daum, Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers On the Decision Not to Have Kids. Picador, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Meghan Daum. Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers On the Decision Not to Have Kids. Picador, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
Copy Details
LibraryOwnedAvailable
Shared Digital Collection10

There is 1 hold on this title.

Staff View
Grouped Work ID:
bce586b7-d14e-4bf8-71d9-9d787e2862c9
Go To Grouped Work
Needs Update?:
No
Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:38:05
Date Updated:
Dec 08, 2020 19:23:41
Last Metadata Check:
Feb 28, 2021 08:08:17
Last Metadata Change:
Jan 09, 2021 05:54:27
Last Availability Check:
Feb 28, 2021 08:08:19
Last Availability Change:
Feb 27, 2021 18:43:41
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Mar 02, 2021 02:27:12

OverDrive Product Record

images
    • cover:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-100/2390-1/{EB9AE02D-B248-4B87-8D6A-3F2D8D3654DF}Img100.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • thumbnail:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-200/2390-1/{EB9AE02D-B248-4B87-8D6A-3F2D8D3654DF}Img200.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • cover150Wide:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-150/2390-1/EB9/AE0/2D/{EB9AE02D-B248-4B87-8D6A-3F2D8D3654DF}Img150.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • cover300Wide:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-400/2390-1/EB9/AE0/2D/{EB9AE02D-B248-4B87-8D6A-3F2D8D3654DF}Img400.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
formats
      • identifiers:
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9781250052940
      • name: Adobe EPUB eBook
      • id: ebook-epub-adobe
      • identifiers:
            • type: ASIN
            • value: B00JI0W6VE
      • name: Kindle Book
      • id: ebook-kindle
      • identifiers:
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9781250052940
      • name: OverDrive Read
      • id: ebook-overdrive
mediaType
eBook
primaryCreator
    • role: Author of introduction, etc.
    • name: Meghan Daum
title
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed
dateAdded
2015-07-17T18:04:49.417-04:00
contentDetails
      • href: https://link.overdrive.com/?websiteID=141&titleID=1678183
      • type: text/html
      • account:
          • name: Sacramento Public Library (CA)
          • id: 1151
sortTitle
Selfish Shallow and SelfAbsorbed Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids
crossRefId
1678183
subtitle
Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids
id
eb9ae02d-b248-4b87-8d6a-3f2d8d3654df
starRating
4.3

OverDrive MetaData

isPublicDomain
False
images
    • cover:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-100/2390-1/{EB9AE02D-B248-4B87-8D6A-3F2D8D3654DF}Img100.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • thumbnail:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-200/2390-1/{EB9AE02D-B248-4B87-8D6A-3F2D8D3654DF}Img200.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • cover150Wide:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-150/2390-1/EB9/AE0/2D/{EB9AE02D-B248-4B87-8D6A-3F2D8D3654DF}Img150.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • cover300Wide:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-400/2390-1/EB9/AE0/2D/{EB9AE02D-B248-4B87-8D6A-3F2D8D3654DF}Img400.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
isPublicPerformanceAllowed
False
formats
      • fileName: SayingNoFifteenWritersReflectontheCho9781250052940
      • partCount: 0
      • fileSize: 565880
      • identifiers:
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9781250052940
      • rights:
            • type: Copying
            • value: 0
            • type: Printing
            • value: 0
            • type: Lending
            • value: 0
            • type: ReadAloud
            • value: 0
            • type: ExpirationRights
            • value: 0
      • name: Adobe EPUB eBook
      • id: ebook-epub-adobe
      • onSaleDate: 03/31/2015
      • samples:
            • source: From the book
            • formatType: ebook-overdrive
            • url: https://samples.overdrive.com/selfish-shallow-and?.epub-sample.overdrive.com
      • fileName: SayingNoFifteenWritersReflectontheCho9781250052940
      • partCount: 0
      • fileSize: 0
      • identifiers:
            • type: ASIN
            • value: B00JI0W6VE
      • name: Kindle Book
      • id: ebook-kindle
      • onSaleDate: 03/31/2015
      • samples:
            • source: From the book
            • formatType: ebook-overdrive
            • url: https://samples.overdrive.com/selfish-shallow-and?.epub-sample.overdrive.com
      • fileName: SayingNoFifteenWritersReflectontheCho9781250052940
      • partCount: 0
      • fileSize: 0
      • identifiers:
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9781250052940
      • name: OverDrive Read
      • id: ebook-overdrive
      • onSaleDate: 03/31/2015
      • samples:
            • source: From the book
            • formatType: ebook-overdrive
            • url: https://samples.overdrive.com/selfish-shallow-and?.epub-sample.overdrive.com
languages
      • code: en
      • name: English
keywords
      • value: Essays
creators
      • role: Author of introduction, etc.
      • fileAs: Daum Meghan
      • bioText: Meghan Daum is the author of the essay collection The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion. She is also the editor of the anthology Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids. Her other books include the essay collection My Misspent Youth, the novel The Quality of Life Report, and Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House, a memoir. Since 2005, Meghan has been an opinion columnist for The Los Angeles Times, writing on political, cultural, and social affairs. She has contributed to public radio's Morning Edition, Marketplace, and This American Life, and has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, GQ, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and The New York Times Magazine. She lives in Los Angeles.
      • name: Meghan Daum
      • role: Author
      • fileAs: Daum Meghan
      • bioText: Meghan Daum is the author of the essay collection The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion. She is also the editor of the anthology Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids. Her other books include the essay collection My Misspent Youth, the novel The Quality of Life Report, and Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House, a memoir. Since 2005, Meghan has been an opinion columnist for The Los Angeles Times, writing on political, cultural, and social affairs. She has contributed to public radio's Morning Edition, Marketplace, and This American Life, and has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, GQ, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and The New York Times Magazine. She lives in Los Angeles.
      • name: Meghan Daum
      • role: Editor
      • fileAs: Daum Meghan
      • bioText: Meghan Daum is the author of the essay collection The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion. She is also the editor of the anthology Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids. Her other books include the essay collection My Misspent Youth, the novel The Quality of Life Report, and Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House, a memoir. Since 2005, Meghan has been an opinion columnist for The Los Angeles Times, writing on political, cultural, and social affairs. She has contributed to public radio's Morning Edition, Marketplace, and This American Life, and has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, GQ, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and The New York Times Magazine. She lives in Los Angeles.
      • name: Meghan Daum
subjects
      • value: Essays
      • value: Literary Criticism
      • value: Sociology
      • value: Nonfiction
publishDate
2015-03-31T00:00:00-04:00
publishDateText
03/31/2015
mediaType
eBook
shortDescription

SIXTEEN LITERARY LUMINARIES ON THE CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECT OF BEING CHILDLESS BY CHOICE, COLLECTED IN ONE FASCINATING ANTHOLOGY
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, sixteen acclaimed writers explain why they have chosen to eschew parenthood. Contributors include Lionel Shriver, Sigrid...

isOwnedByCollections
True
title
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed
fullDescription

SIXTEEN LITERARY LUMINARIES ON THE CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECT OF BEING CHILDLESS BY CHOICE, COLLECTED IN ONE FASCINATING ANTHOLOGY


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.

sortTitle
Selfish Shallow and SelfAbsorbed Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids
crossRefId
1678183
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Kate Bolick, The New York Times Book Review
      • content:

        "Anthologies aren't famous for changing attitudes en masse, but at the very least this one gives voice to the complexities of assuming and enjoying a 'child-free' life....The sixteen essays are cleverly arranged, creating a satisfying intellectual and emotional arc....The reader is treated to nearly every reason one might choose to forgo having children."

      • premium: False
      • source: Katie Roiphe, The Washington Post
      • content: "[A] searing collection...The child-burdened should come away from this engaging collection with a rich sense of what they have missed."
      • premium: False
      • source: Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair
      • content: "Provocative."
      • premium: False
      • source: TheAtlantic.com
      • content: "The 16 essays--variously funny, devastating, infuriating, insightful, and, yes, occasionally smug--not only dismantle the assumption of selfishness, they shed light on a stigma that's remained stubbornly pervasive...Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed is generally very strong, bringing together a diverse range of voices and styles to riff entertainingly on a subject that has seemed, up until now, unriffable. But as a collection of manifestos, it's hugely significant."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Guardian (London)
      • content: "Some [essays] are moving, some are clear-eyed and straightforward, and some are straight-up funny."
      • 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.”

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        January 1, 2015
        Daum (The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion, 2014, etc.) compiles essays from a group of noted writers-including Kate Christensen, Geoff Dyer and Lionel Shriver-holding forth on the topic of deliberate childlessness.The quality of the writing is uniformly high, but read as a whole, the pieces become repetitive and bleed into one another as the same notes are sounded over and over again. One prevalent theme concerns the oppressive conventional wisdom that holds parenting as life's most profound and worthy calling and the stigma attached to those who choose to forgo children in the interest of other pursuits. Other recurring motifs include the incomprehension of others regarding the writers' choices, the artistic sacrifices necessary for conscientious parenting, resentment of the physical demands of pregnancy and childbirth, frustration over prescriptive gender roles and the self-annihilation associated with domestic responsibilities. Thirteen of Daum's contributors are women, and three are men, but the perspectives and insights offered by all of the authors remain more or less uniform. A few of the essays touch on childhood abuse perpetrated by parents as a deterrent to procreation, but the majority cite a dedication to the writing life-and the profound disruption to that path that having children promises-as a primary motivator in remaining child-free. Regret over the decision to not have children is notably absent from the book; the authors here largely profess a sense of satisfaction and relief about the choices they have made. It's a sentiment worth considering but perhaps not 16 times in a row. Other contributors include Laura Kipnis, Sigrid Nunez, Anna Holmes and M.G. Lord. A courageous defense of childlessness and a necessary corrective to the Cult of Mommy, but Daum's collection could have benefitted from a more diverse pool of contributors and a fuller consideration of contrary opinions.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 1, 2015

        Author and columnist (LA Times) Daum wrote a lengthy piece about choosing not to procreate, which was published in the New Yorker in 2014; she then reached out to 16 of her fellow childless (or child-free) writers. In what occasionally feels like a bi-coastal support group, 13 women and three men discuss their feelings and experiences. The essayists all appear to come from the educated, if not the upper-middle and middle classes. Almost all of the writers go to great lengths to say that they like kids and often enjoy their company more than that of the parents (a hilarious exception is Geoff Dyer's class-warfare screed against the hyperprivileged kids in his neighborhood). Many of the women discuss proudly their abortions; several mourn their miscarriages. Of note is "Antimom," Lionel Shriver's rumination on how the "be-here-now" lifestyle could change the racial makeup of the Western world, Laura Kipnis's and Anna Holmes's takedowns of competitive mothering, and Sigrid Nunez's recounting of never feeling safe as a child. Many themes are repeated, such as the conviction that one cannot have it all--motherhood and a fabulous career. The men's contributions seem tacked on and perhaps beyond the scope of this volume, and one wonders if this collection would have been better as a TED panel discussion. VERDICT For libraries with feminist collections, for fans of the featured essayists, and for those who are considering a child-free life. The questions and answers presented here are sure to stimulate discussion and debate. [See Prepub Alert, 10/27/14.]--Liz French, Library Journal

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 15, 2014

        Already stirring first serial interest, this book could stir controversy, too. Compiled by Daum, a Los Angeles Times op-ed columnist, it features essays from 16 literary stars on why they have chosen not to have children. In an age of helicopter parents, with the added notion that we really can have it all, this is a daring stance.

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

subtitle
Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids
popularity
334
publisher
Picador
links
    • self:
        • href: https://api.overdrive.com/v1/collections/v1L1BWwAAAA2I/products/eb9ae02d-b248-4b87-8d6a-3f2d8d3654df/metadata
        • type: application/vnd.overdrive.api+json
id
eb9ae02d-b248-4b87-8d6a-3f2d8d3654df
starRating
4.3