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A Double Life: Discovering Motherhood

A Double Life Discovering Motherhood There is no denying it motherhood splits a woman s life forever into a before and an after To this doubled life Lisa Catherine Harper brings a wealth of feeling and a wry sense of humor a will to un

There is no denying it motherhood splits a woman s life forever, into a before and an after To this doubled life Lisa Catherine Harper brings a wealth of feeling and a wry sense of humor, a will to understand the emotional and biological transformations that motherhood entails, and a narrative gift that any reader will enjoy Harper documents her own journey across thisThere is no denying it motherhood splits a woman s life forever, into a before and an after To this doubled life Lisa Catherine Harper brings a wealth of feeling and a wry sense of humor, a will to understand the emotional and biological transformations that motherhood entails, and a narrative gift that any reader will enjoy Harper documents her own journey across this great divide as a seasoned explorer might, observing, researching, relating anecdotes and critical information From late night Lindy Hop dancing to crippling sciatica, morning sickness to indulgent meals, graduate seminars to sophisticated ultrasounds, Harper marries scientific details with intimate insights as she uncovers the fascinating strangeness of this remarkably familiar territory Following Harper s first pregnancy from conception to her daughter s first word, A Double Life looks at how the biological facts of motherhood give rise to life altering emotional and psychological changes It shows us how motherhood transforms the female body, hijacks a woman s mind, and splits her life in two, creating an identity both brand new and as old as time It charts the passage from individual to incubator, from pregnancy, labor, and nursing to language acquisition, from coupledom to the complex reality of family life Harper s carefully researched story reminds us that motherhood s central joys are also its most essential transformations.Watch a bo

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About Author

  1. Lisa Catherine Harper says:
    Lisa Catherine Harper is the author of A Double Life, Discovering Motherhood, winner of the 2010 River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize Her writing has appeared online and in print in places including Poetry Foundation, Huffington Post, Glimmer Train, Babble, Offsprung, Literary Mama, and Gastronomica She is Adjunct Professor of Writing in the University of San Franciscos Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program, as well as a freelance writer and lives near San Francisco with her husband and two children.

Comment 139 on “A Double Life: Discovering Motherhood

  1. Stacy says:
    I really liked the idea of this book However, I felt that the author spent too much time indulging herself in telling us her story and too little time talking about pregnancy motherhood in general All mothers as the author notes feel that their story is somehow different We are the epitome of the one upper Well, my labor was worse than yours because blah, blah, blah I thought it was ironic that the author notices this and still spends so much time boring us with details Telling your story is fut [...]

  2. Sarah Wells says:
    Tonight I rolled on our bed with Henry, blew raspberries on his belly and he laughed and squirmed and laughed He patted my face with his pudgy palm He concentrated on the blank screen of my phone and pushed with all his might to make it do something.Earlier, I watched Miss Lydia kick a soccer ball and felt my heart swell with pride and wonder at how she s gotten so tall and fast, how determined she is, and I wondered at the complicated blending of personality and skill sets and talents and looks [...]

  3. Christina says:
    This book was written from the perspective of before the writer wanted to get pregnant, basically, to the time of her child beginning to talk.I may have enjoyed this if 1 I was currently pregnant or, 2 if my pregnancy had been normal I didn t begin to enjoy it, or relate much to it, until after the birth of her child and after a little bit of time had passed But again I suspect this is because my circumstances were so different, aside from our closeness in ages of becoming pregnant.Still, I fou [...]

  4. Andrea says:
    Lisa Catherine Harper s compassionate yet shrewd memoir sheds new light on the complexities of becoming a mother I was astonished by her accuracy for detail and the depth of emotion she chronicled while living through this radical change in her life What an insightful gift this is for the first time mother.

  5. Caroline says:
    A beautifully compelling memoir Harper explores her journey into motherhood from her daughter s conception till her 9th month, grounding her personal story in the science of pregnancy and infant development It s a fascinating and lyrical account of those alternately disorienting and wondrous days, relevant even if you re long past them.

  6. Janet says:
    A must read for anyone considering motherhood, or anyone who has a mother to appreciate how totally a baby takes over your body, heart and mind Not self absorbed at all, and mixes personal story with medical and psychological info Good stuff.

  7. Jean Godwin Carroll says:
    As the first time mother of a toddler, I love to read well written accounts about discovering motherhood This one did nothing for me and I found myself skimming through the second half.

  8. Eric says:
    Not what I was expecting I thought it was a science PhD student who was going to write about the science of what was happening But it s an English major type writing about a lot of dancing.

  9. Jean V. Naggar Literary says:
    This incredibly rich and enlightening book about one woman s journey into motherhood is a clear example of the successful merging of memoir and scientific study Harper writes with honesty about her own anxieties and uncertainties as she educates herself and the reader on the biological facts about the ultimate miracle of life She remains centered, however, with frequent moments of self awareness and grace I was just another pregnant woman Which was probably the most remarkable thing of all Natio [...]

  10. Ciara says:
    i liked this a lot when i was in the right mood for it when i first picked it up, i blazed through 75 pages in no time, even though the language tends to be somewhat dense poetic ie, not the easiest read i was just feeling really clear headed invested in this woman s journey through pregnancy.when i picked it up again, i really struggled i was sleepy, dealing with my own pregnancy fatigue, just trying to get through the late afternoon until i got my usual evening second wind it was a slog trying [...]

  11. Literary Mama says:
    Harper s fascination with the physical and emotional changes wrought in a woman s body and mind when she becomes pregnant and gives birth are the driving force of this book As I read A Double Life, I found myself taking notes and nodding my head, thinking, Yes, yes, exactly This is what happened in my body when I was pregnant I consider myself a researcher, but I was amazed by all the details of pregnancy and childbirth that I didn t know For instance, I had no idea that nausea in early pregnanc [...]

  12. Ronnie says:
    I give this book three stars instead of two only because the last third was actually helpful and informative the rest her and her husband s social life of swing dancing on weekends, their conception tale, and their time leading up to the birth I found to be too personally specific, uninteresting, and honestly too self absorbed and a bit pretentious I feel as though in the first part, Harper tried to make too much out of a common story to amp up the literary value The birth and post birth section [...]

  13. Emily says:
    I have read many books about experiences with pregnancies in the last six months and I must say, this is the best one I have read to date Lisa speaks for the types of mothers and mothers to be that over think She has given a voice to feelings I ve had but not known how to express in words This book is graceful and introspective She speaks with truth and honesty I just loved it Even the scary parts of motherhood seem to have a silver lining to them when discussed in this book It was just what I n [...]

  14. Liana says:
    I really enjoyed this book and the balance of science and her story of becoming a mother Lisa describes the transition to motherhood in a believable and realistic, yet engaging read I loved the way she reconciles her life before with the new amazing experiences of becoming a mother This book reminded me of the amazing journey and the importance of not losing yourself when you become a Mom It is extremely well written and was great fun to read.

  15. Rachel says:
    I liked the beginning because I felt like I could identify with the early days of her pregnancy and I liked the end where she discussed her delivery and first days with he baby I found the middle to be incredibly boring and even skimmed some parts because I really just didn t care about what she was discussing.

  16. Julie Leonard says:
    Really enjoyed this book It s a great read for the mother whose hit that realization that we will never be that same person we were before we got pregnant, delivered and became a mother Some of her descriptions and anecdotes really hit home for me.

  17. Roxanne says:
    Author s account of her first pregnancy, delivery and life with new baby Very philosophical and somewhat poetic.

  18. Beth says:
    This book talked about the author s experience of pregnancy through the first few months with a newborn I enjoyed her writing and the honest story of her journey Funny and honest

  19. KatherineJ Barrett says:
    One of my best motherhood memoirs of 2011 Full list here katherinejbarrett 2012 01


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