BLACK MILK - STARRED REVIEW

"In an intimate, affecting memoir, best-selling Turkish writer Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love, 2010) looks within to find answers to the question of how a woman may balance motherhood and a career. Light years from the standard perspective of supermom versus the world, Shafak relishes her independence and refuses to ignore fears about the impact of marriage and children on her most central self, that of a writer. She faces each warring part of her nature (delightfully caricatured as an internal "harem" of conflicting voices) and mines the lives of other female writers for insight. The great voices she discusses are impressive, including Virginia Woolf, Doris Lessing, George Sand, Louisa May Alcott, Zelda Fitzgerald, Sylvia Plath, and Ayn Rand. The list goes on and on, and no mention is casual. Shafak has reasons to discuss every life she mentions, including her own, and with an elegant yet steely force of will, she convinces readers to look for answers along with her. Her passion for literature is contagious, and her struggle with postpartum depression and writer's block reinforces how carefully all of us must tread. Beautifully rendered, Shafak's Black Milk is an epic poem to women everywhere."
-- Colleen Mondor

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