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The Best Most Awful Job
The Best Most Awful Job

The Best Most Awful Job

Twenty Writers Talk Honestly About Motherhood

Edited by Katherine May


196 Pages, 8.5 x 5.5

Formats: Cloth, EPUB

Cloth, $22.95 (US $22.95) (CA $30.95)

Publication Date: August 2021

ISBN 9781783964864

Rights: US & CA

Elliott & Thompson (Aug 2021)


eBook Editions Available

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Price: $22.95


Motherhood is life-changing. Joyful. Disorientating. Overwhelming. Intense on every level. It's the best, most awful job.

The Best, Most Awful Job brings together twenty bold and brilliant women to speak about motherhood in all its raw, heart-wrenching, gloriously impossible forms.

Overturning assumptions, breaking down myths and shattering stereotypes, these writers challenge our perceptions of what it means to be a mother - and ask you to listen.

Contributors include:

Michelle Adams (Between the Lies)
Javaria Akbar (Vice, Refinery29, Buzzfeed contributor)
Charlene Allcott (More than a Mum)
MiMi Aye (Mandalay: Recipes and Tales from a Burmesse Kitchen)
Jodi Bartle (The London Mother contributor)
Sharmila Chauhan (The Husbands)
Josie George (A Still Life: A Memoir)
Leah Hazard (The Father's Home Birth Handbook)
Joanne Limburg (The  Woman Who Thought Too Much)
Katherine May (Wintering)
Susana Moreira Marques (Now and at the Hour of our Death)
Dani McClain (We Live for the We, contributor to the Nation)
Hollie McNish (Nobody Told Me: Poetry and Parenthood)
Saima Mir (Guardian contributor, It's Not about the Burqa contributor)
Carolina Alvarado Molk (New Letters contributor)
Emily Morris (My Shitty Twenties)
Jenny Parrott (Oneworld editor)
Huma Qureshi (In Spite of Oceans)
Peggy Riley (Amity & Sorrow)
Michelle Tea (Modern Tarot and Black Wave)
Tiphanie Yanique (Land of Love and Drowning)


"Poignant, funny, sensitive, but most importantly, heart-stoppingly true. This is an outstanding collection of essays, from some of the finest writers, which gets right to the dark heart of what it really means to be a mother." —Clover Stroud, author, My Wild and Sleepless Nights

"A wonderful anthology. I enjoyed it so much - the honesty, intelligence, fury and tenderness of the essays; and, importantly and refreshingly, the range of voices and stories it contains." —Liz Berry, author, The Republic of Motherhood

"This is the kind of book that could well make a difference to someone's life . . . every mother should read it." —Laura Pearson, author, I Wanted You to Know

'If I had added a Post-it Note to every sentence in this book that made me laugh, wince in recognition, or faintly well up, I would have turned it into a paper porcupine." —Independent

"All the pain, power and privilege of being a mother is here in these tales of stepparenting; being unable to conceive; having six children; single parenthood; and of how race, class, disability, religion and sexuality affect our perceptions of motherhood." —Bookseller Editor's Choice

"The thoughtful, incisive writing creates an emotional resonance that gets to the heart of motherhood as a complex and profoundly human experience. This will stick with mothers—and those thinking about becoming parents—long after the last page is turned." — Publishers Weekly, STARRED

Author Biography

Katherine May is an author of fiction and memoir whose most recent works have shown a willingness to deal frankly with the more ambiguous aspects of parenting. In The Electricity of Every Living Thing she explored the challenges - and joys - of being an autistic mother, and sparked a debate about the right of mothers to ask for solitude. In the forthcoming Wintering, she looks at the ways in which parenting can lead to periods of isolation and stress. She lives with her husband and son in Whitstable, Kent.