Mothers, they don't deliver books

Death overshadows life Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf in the film version of Michael Cunningham’s The Hours

Since Virginia Woolf wrote her famous book ‘A room of one’s own’ and the female writers are trying to dig up this great challenge to their creativity to recognize their talent for the pressures faced by women writers and social, Cultural laws that discriminate between the sexes and limit women’s talents and choices in life. In her book, Virginia posed an important question: why, if Shakespeare had a sister with a pure mind and a vivid imagination? And she thought that maybe this sister’s life would end up crazy, Isolated or maybe suicide. Because she thinks a female writer needs to meet a social requirement to be able to continue writing. She needs to experience, A vast life that gives her knowledge of the world and make rich social relationships with people. Because not only the person writes about his personal experience, he writes about diverse lives. In analogy, Women will only write about poor reality. That’s why Woolf declared that a woman writer needed a room of her own and a regular income. But it’s like Alif SHafaq, a century later, Even though she’s got her private room and a big income for a writer like her. She found out there is another challenge for a female writer, another existential challenge, another natural challenge appeared after love and marriage experience, Which is ‘Motherhood and childbirth’. It’s a condition that calls psychological conflict bigger than the female conflict with demons of social and cultural laws.

And even though Alif Shafaq like all mothers recognize motherhood as the greatest gift of life, The women as the Shafaq says, is not a mother by birth. She had to learn about motherhood. And it’s not always fun.

Dorice Leesing also wrote once about motherhood:

“No more boring than a young, intelligent women spending her whole time with a young child”

Is it hard for a woman to combine writing and motherhood?

Why it’s so hard for mothers to do that? Is it because the nature of writing that require isolation? Where mothers can’t do? This conflict opens the door to the dilemma of marriage and motherhood for women writers. And asks many questions such as:

Does a woman writer consistent with her motherhood as fast as the rest of the other women? Do we give in to the cultural conflicts that have been instilled within us that women’s sole and eternal role is to give birth? Or we fight and win for our unique talents? Do we have to change so that the women’s fate changes after us, and the world change with us?

Alif Shafaq

And just in her book, Woolf left us keys to answer these questions. Shafaq comes in Black Milk to open up a new way of understanding and enlightenment among women writers. She built a bridge of necessary human knowledge. Where we find out that this struggle between motherhood, writing, and creativity is not new and does not define a region of the world and no culture. In fact, Women in the West lived what women lived in the East. By reveling her feminist study in Black Milk of the history of women writers in US, France, China, and Japan. We found out that the same questions have been asked everywhere and every culture. And the female women who were able to carry ideas and give birth to books before giving birth to children, She faced the same conflict and the same struggle. So, can woman dispense with her uterus with reason? So, through this long journey through the book, We’ll know a history of women asking themselves these questions. Crossing the Capossian island of understanding. Some of them arrived peacefully, some of them suffered and fell into the abyss, and some of them are just chose writing rather than children.

Anaïs Nin Born in France in 1903, Anaïs Nin was an author who left a big impact not only on world literature, but also on the women’s movement of the twentieth century.

You’ll find in Black Milk a lot of women cured of the wounds of motherhood and creativity, just like me. And a wonderful understanding of this conflict that we’ve lived through is what turns it into a passion for life. And this what made women writers in this book look great and where they are.

Is it harder to write or to give birth?

Black milk is no longer just a journey of postpartum depression, or the autobiography of creative mother who’s pen stopped giving birth of words when she gave birth to her first child. In fact, it’s an enlighten experience of consciousness of what can happen when a female who give birth to words struggle with the one whose bringing the child to life. And how this conflict breaks up the female multiple entities, deprives her peace, serenity and satisfaction. Which leaves her in constant obsession with the path that she neglected to choose.

If Woolf helped a woman writer by answer her questions and find some way to a private room and a regular source of income, Then Shafaq freed the other side of the mother writer. Which makes all women writers become women who are aware of their reality and move on.

And beside the gratification and joy of this narrative, this book helps us as women in terms with our fragmentary souls in a way that’s not distressing. That is, a tragedy, losses a lot of its weapons and loses its essence when we share it together.

Alif Shafaq holding Black Milk

Shafaq writes with an innocence that looks like the innocence of cartoon movies that eventually depict everyone innocent or human at the end. Then makes us empathize with them, including postpartum devil that the word “affectionate” has affected him.

And maybe Shafaq believes George Eliot saying:

“If art does not evoke human compassion, Then it has no moral role”

Shafaq is an authentic pen. She is not following what she finds anywhere, not promoting it, but writing what she tested herself while respecting other people’s experiences. She is a good writer and brave just like the fairy tales’ heroes who finally win.



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