A candid, ultimately buoyant debut story collection about the realities of the “baby years,” whether you’re having one or not.
The women in Polly Rosenwaike’s Look How Happy I’m Making You want to be mothers, or aren’t sure they want to be mothers, or–having recently given birth–are overwhelmed by what they’ve wrought. Sharp and unsettling, wry and moving in its depiction of love, friendship, and family, this collection expands the conversation about what having a baby looks like.
One woman struggling with infertility deals with the news that her sister is pregnant. Another woman nervous about her biological clock “forgets” to take her birth control while dating a younger man and must confront the possibility of becoming a single parent. Four motherless women who meet in a bar every Mother’s Day contend with their losses and what it would mean to have a child.
Witty, empathetic, and precisely observed, Look How Happy I’m Making You offers the rare, honest portrayal of pregnancy and new motherhood in a culture obsessed with women’s most intimate choices.
Polly Rosenwaike has published stories, essays, and reviews in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2013, The New York Times Book Review, Glimmer Train, New England Review, The Millions, and the San Francisco Chronicle. The fiction editor for Michigan Quarterly Review, she lives in Ann Arbor with the poet Cody Walker and their two daughters.
Read: Grow Your Eyelashes, excerpt, Penguin Random House
Review: Look How Happy I’m Making You, Kirkus Reviews
Prompt: For this exercise you’ll need to obtain some photographs of yourself when you were a baby. Begin my describing yourself in these pictures. Now use stories that other people may have told you and work these into a couple of paragraphs. Aim for 300 words.