The ‘Lot’s Wife’ Trilogy
By Kate Ashton
Proposed cover (Kate Ashton)
What is a ‘good mother’?
A trilogy of novellas exploring the metaphysics of motherhood, with a progressively intense focus on the personal, the societal and ultimately the profound moral implications of bringing a child into the world.
Anatomy of a White Woman
The first book in the trilogy follows the course of natural birth as it is accomplished at home, without pain relief, under the supervision of a midwife somewhere in Western Europe. From the onset of labour to delivery, the process induces in the mother-to-be physical increasing intellectual and spiritual shock at her loss of (self)control. The body’s violent insistence on autonomy shocks the mind into a chaos of personal and shared female history, where she encounters total lack of preparedness for present raw experience and its implications.
The new mother abandons her family, forced finally to surrender to a nameless inner no-man’s-land where she is compelled by a sense of doom to reconfigure her life. She knows that this is literally a matter of life and death, and that her child’s future depends upon her confronting some terrifying truths. Staring into the abyss where until recently she functioned as a successful career woman, lover, daughter, sister and friend, she discovers all existential certainties gone and her ‘identity’ rendered meaningless. Most terrifying of all, she can locate no firm moral ground upon which to rebuild her world as a mother.
The closing narrative traces this woman’s strange, foreshadowed trajectory from alienation and ‘madness’ towards a new world within which darkness constantly discloses light. She stumbles back into familiar territory, a reality she once dimly recognised, feared, revered and longed for. Now she knows it as another sort of birth. At last, discarding received wisdom and all external parameters, she discovers her own compass and context within which to mother her child.
Anatomy of a White Woman
‘Every word, every sentence breathes authenticity. I admire how word after word after word you dig ever deeper to where words usually fail. An intensely poetic piece about a woman looking for her contours/identity, searching/yearning for her individuality. What a tour de force.' - Meike Ziervogel, publisher, Peirene Press
Seeking initial publication as well as Foreign Rights
Rights: World (incl. World English)