Profile: Sheila Heti

By Anna Bowen, August 2018

A prolific and well-loved author, Sheila Heti has released Motherhood, a novel which closely examines the process by which a female writer in her late thirties chooses whether or not to have children, while drawing in themes of mental health, divination, intergenerational mothering, gendered expectations, and romantic love.

Motherhood is a courageous, keenly felt, and starkly original novel that will surely spark lively conversations about womanhood, parenthood, and about how—and for whom—to live.”  Most of the novel takes place in the intimacy of the narrator’s head, an up-close, philosophical and near conversation with both herself and with chance, and we see how she weighs the decision heavily while her girlfriends beckon to her from the other side, the side of parenthood. Meanwhile she grapples with her relationship to her partner and to her mother.  “I am in the afternoon of my life. The time for children is breakfast,” the narrator muses as she holds the ethical value of creating a life on the one hand and the value of creating a world out of her own writing on the other.

Sheila Heti has eight books under her belt, including New York Times Notable Book, How Should a Person Be? She is editor of Women in Clothes as well as former interviews editor of The Believer magazine. Her writing has been published in The New Yorker, n+1, The London Review of Books, and Granta, to name a few.

You can hear Sheila Heti read from Motherhood at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival on Sunday, September 9th, 2018, and aspiring writers can join her for a writing workshop on Saturday, September 8th as part of the festival.