Matrescence: On Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood

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Product Details
$30.00  $27.90
Pantheon Books
Publish Date
6.7 X 9.3 X 1.4 inches | 1.3 pounds

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About the Author
LUCY JONES was born in Cambridge, England, and educated at
University College London. She has written on culture, science and nature. Her articles have been published on BBC Earth and in The Sunday Times, The Guardian and the New Statesman. Her first book, Foxes Unearthed, received the Society of Authors' Roger Deakin Award. Jones lives in Hampshire, England.
Longlisted for Women's Prize for Non-Fiction

"Wide-ranging and hugely ambitious...Marshalling memoir, science, sociology, and history, Jones argues that, outside of adolescence, there is no transformation as dramatic in a human's life [as motherhood], in both its emotional and biological impacts."
--The New Yorker

"The book I wish I'd had [when I had my first child]...A tenderly woven, comprehensive explanation of what happens to us when we grow, birth and care for a baby...[Jones] meticulously builds to an irrefutable conclusion: Becoming a mother changes us in ways that are external, internal, and lasting, and it is 'likely the most drastic endocrine event in human life.'"
--The Cut

"In this maddening journey of motherhood, I encourage everyone to let Matrescence be your soothing guide. From my early days of motherhood to a few years deep in the trenches, Lucy's words and wisdom continues to guide and comfort me. Matrescence is the sister I never had but always longed for as I try to figure out how to mother in this world. It's a fierce book, equally tender as it is sharp. It is my kind of bible that I will carry with me (and gift to others!) for a long time."
--Szilvia Molnar, author of The Nursery

"Sweeping and courageous." --Tom Mustill, biologist, filmmaker, author of How to Speak Whale

"A deep dive into the radical transformation of becoming a mother...An intimate, insightful memoir."

"The best book I've ever read about motherhood. Myths are . . . smashed from page one, which makes this a thrilling read. Matrescence is essential reading, bloody and alive, roaring and ready to change conversations." --Jude Rogers, The Observer (UK)

"To read this book - and I very much hope its audience is not confined to women who are about to or have recently given birth - is to emerge chastened and ready for change. Anger is not an emotion we expect from mothers. But, as Jones says, good anger is necessary. Let us hold to that." --Marianne Levy, I News (UK)

"I loved this book. It's a questioning, intelligent investigation into the process of becoming a mother, sparked by Jones' own life but looked at from all angles: environmental, social, historical, neurobiological, psychoanalytical, and more. She suggests that portrayals of motherhood as either rose-tinted bliss or boring drudgery means we fail to prepare women for its reality--and we also fail to allow for its wilder, radical possibilities. Revelatory."
--Joanna Quinn, author of The Whalebone Theatre

"A beautiful contemplation of the extraordinary yet ordinary metamorphosis that adult humans undergo as they become mothers. I was entranced . . . a passionate and powerful maternal roar for change. Wonderful." --Gaia Vince, award-winning journalist; author of Adventures in the Anthropocene

"Excellent on the difference between historical views of motherhood and actual experience. In fact, Jones seems to come as close as it's possible to describing this indescribable moment in a woman's life." --Joanna Pocock, The Spectator (UK)

"A scientific and poetic ode to motherhood...Raw and real...Her lyrical prose is celebratory while acknowledging the challenges that can arise during pregnancy and throughout motherhood...A fascinating and worthwhile read, this book for mothers is steeped in research that is both validating and illuminating."
--Library Journal

"[Jones] charts the monumental impact of having children from every angle. A boundary-pushing book that is more complex and creative, transcending even the 'part-memoir, part-critical analysis' genre that has become such a commonplace format for female authors in recent years. There is much to be gleaned as Jones skillfully elucidates the monumental shifts [motherhood] brings. The chapter on the maternal brain is especially fascinating and, more importantly, validating for those of us who feel society's minimising of matrescence flies in the face of our experience of it. Jones never becomes bogged down in the material, which is quite an achievement considering its scope. At times, I wanted more. Jones is a pioneer, and as such has left some ground unexplored. This book is a beginning, and a fine one at that." --Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, The Guardian

"[A] probing meditation...Jones emphasizes the beauty and volatility of maternity...Seamlessly weaving personal recollections with broader social analysis...Elevated by inventive formal flourishes and searching reflection, this will resonate with mothers of all stripes."
--Publishers Weekly

"A beautiful, intelligent book that is as tender and moving as it is demanding and urgent. An absolutely essential new addition to the literature of mothering and parenthood." --Clover Stroud, author of The Wild Other

"Jones writes beautifully with searing honesty about life-changing physical and emotional impact of having a child." --Rachel Sylvester, The Times (UK)

"The single most powerful, life-changing, heartachingly healing thing I have been given. Matrescence holds the power to carry us back to ourselves, to the rituals and community from which we came. . . Lucy Jones is the person who should have written it. I am so glad she did. She has given us mammals such a gift, one that will save lives." --Kerri ní Dochartaigh, author of Cacophony of Bone