Woman's Review of Books Reviews This Woman's Work

“Production vs Reproduction” / Women's Review of Books / Tahneer Oksman / January 9, 2019

An excerpt: Of course, as this dualistic structure of the book reveals, the questions addressed throughout—can I be a mother/not a mother and the kind of artist/kind of person I want to be?; Has anyone before me succeeded at this?—cannot be separated. How can one begin to figure out what one wants, when there are no apparent role models for the kind of life you might be after—when that life’s potential seems, if not impossible, at least very narrowly construed. As Delporte tells it, the story of this individual life is always already tied to broader histories, to the often unknowable backstories of countless women who came before. The possibilities, as my roommate and I also once experienced them, still feel too limited. Delporte’s memoir seems to argue that they will continue to feel this way until we tell more stories of the choices women are able (or not able) to make, and how. In pulling together these unexpected threads to weave together her own narrative, Delporte’s This Woman’s Work is a call: to seeing, writing, illustrating, and reading—to witnessing all kinds of women’s stories.

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