Bookish Witch

Graceful Burdens by Roxane Gay

Blurb (as on Amazon):

From New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay comes an unforgettable tale of nightmarish bureaucracy in which genetic profiling has redefined the “unfit mother.”

A trip to the library prompts one woman to question her fate in this galvanizing short story. For a woman like Hadley, deemed not acceptable to procreate, there’s only one recourse. Unlicensed for motherhood, she can alleviate her grief and frustration at a “baby library,” where a curiously endless supply of infants is available for a two-week loan. But the borrowed life that serves as a temporary balm leads to a journey of self-discovery that will forever change the direction of Hadley’s future.

Roxane Gay’s Graceful Burdens is part of Out of Line, an incisive collection of funny, enraging, and hopeful stories of women’s empowerment and escape. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

Genre: Fiction/Dystopian Short Story

Pages: 16

Format: Kindle eBook/Audiobook

Price: 69 INR/$1.99

My Rating: 4.3/5

In a dystopian world, women (and men) are categorized on their ability to reproduce. While women have to face the brunt of the consequences in case of infertility, there is some solace for men. How do these women cope?

What I liked about the book:

-> It is a thought-provoking story based on a polarising subject.
-> It is an innovative and unusual storyline that works as a wake-up call well worth reading.
-> There is an underlying warning. None of us wants to be told what to do, but this short fictional exposé has a foreboding prediction of a future we might be unintentionally rushing towards.
-> The author manages to build a fully realized world in just a few pages. The characters are well-drawn and the story is quite intriguing.
-> It’s haunting, unpredictable, and exhilarating all at once and works as a beautiful dedication to motherhood, or rather, parenthood.

What I did not like about the book:

-> Some characters and subplots did not add much to the story and felt like they were added just to provide a variety.

Quotable quotes:

-> It was not that Hadley thought having children, a husband, would suddenly give her life meaning. She was not one for such facile thinking. It was that everyone she loved and knew thought her life had no meaning without children, a husband.
-> The girl she had been worried about the tone of her voice and the manner of her words. The woman she had become had no need for such affectations.

Check out the book here:

Author’s social media links:

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