Discussed in this essay:
Mothers: An Essay on Love and Cruelty, by Jacqueline Rose. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 256 pages. $26.
Motherhood: A Novel, by Sheila Heti. Henry Holt. 304 pages. $27.
My son was born on the night of November 8, 2016. Because he was three weeks early, I had not voted absentee. All day I repeated, “I can’t believe this man is preventing me from voting for our first female president.” A few hours after the birth, I instructed my husband to look at his phone and find out what was happening with “my main bitch Hillary.” Concern crossed the nurse’s face. “You know, it’s not looking good,” she said. “I’m so sick of this liberal anxiety!” I replied. “She’s got this in the bag!” The nurse raised her eyebrows and fiddled with the IV; a trained professional does not argue with a woman who is recovering from a thirty-seven-hour labor. From across the room, my husband cleared his throat. “Trump won Ohio,” he said.