Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed by Meghan Daum

Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed

Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids– edited by Meghan Daum. Contributioins by Kate Christensen, Geoff Dyer, Danielle Henderson, Courtney Hodell, Anna Holmes, Elliot Holt, Pam Houston, Michelle Huneven, Laura Kipnis, Tim Kreider, Paul Lisicky, M.G. Lord, Rosemary Mohoney, Sigrid Nunex, Jeanne Safer, and Lionel Shriver.

The title is meant to be a tongue-in-cheek joke, but the book doesn’t read as such. If these writers gave up having children to concentrate on their craft, they need to concentrate better. The writing isn’t all that good. If they avoided having children because they recognized how screwed up their own childhoods were and question their own ability to be good parents, then kudos to them. The two pieces I enjoyed the most were “Beyond Beyond Motherhood” by Jeanne Safer and “Over and Out” by Geoff Dyer.
I was interested in their reasons, their thought processes. Nothing was said that made all that much sense other than:

Reproductions as raison d’être has always seemed to me to beg the whole question of existence. If the ultimate purpose of you life is your children, what’s the purpose of your children’s lives? To have you grandchildren? Isn’t anyone’s life ultimately meaningful in itself? If not, what’s the point of propagating it ad infinitum? After all, zero times infinity, still equals zero. It would seem a pretty low-rent ultimate purpose that’s shared with viruses and bacteria. “The End Of The Line” by Tim Kreider

If the subject interest you then go ahead and read the book. If not, I can’t recommend it.

289 pages


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I do a little web design work and support a couple web sites and blogs. My primary focus is lighting and energy consulting where I use a number of computer tools to help my customer find ways of saving money and improving their work environment. See my web site for more information:
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