courageous and elegantly written memoir that explores the distinction
between motherhood and womanhood and celebratesthe path of the artist—as
a self-defined, complete woman. Molly Peacock's warmth,
humor, and candor with strike a chord with a generation coming to
terms with the decision to have, or not to have, children."
will stay with most readers, I think, is the vivid picture she paints
of the loneliness women often feel in dealing with the social pressures
Livesey, The New York Times Book Review
"Art and life in service to each other produce the portrait
of a woman who, in the vital construction of herself, unpossessively
embraces the reader as if the reader were her own liberated child."
> The Private I: Privacy in a Public
World | Paradise, Piece by Piece | How
To Read A Poem & Start A Poetry Circle
Paradise, Piece by Piece:
do you grow up if you don't have children? How do you remake
the original love—mother love—into a mature love? Becoming
a parent provokes this conversion, but the transformation into adulthood
without the bearing of children means metamorphosis. The change
is not instant and permanent like parenthood. It is a surfacing
into adulthood and a diving down into childhood, and a poking into
sharp air again, then a plunge into watery warmth, gradually converting
your gills to lungs. After a time, you breathe in air exclusively,
just as all adults do."
I could have told that girl, who waited to hear her father's
car crawl up the driveway, that things would never be as bad as
they were at that moment, I think she would not have believed me.
I imagine whispering into her ear, a skinny little shrimp with lank
hair wearing a soiled blouse, her face at once both horrified and
grim, that her life will be an adventure and that she will become
a poet and live in two countries with a boy she would meet very
soon. I see her turn her head a little bit on her neck, straightening
her slump just a bit, and watch a slow, noncommittal sort of astonishment
begin in her spine, delight moving up her vertebrae till it hits
the top of her head and moves her shoulders back. I tell her¾she
is fourteen years old—that if she holds on for thirty years
she's going to love her life. This girl does not say, "Thirty
years! How will I hold on?" She does not complain or hope;
instead, she walks. She walks across the empty plain, requiring
that emptiness completely. Paradoxically, for her it will become
full of creativity."