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Black Milk

An acclaimed Turkish novelist's personal account of balancing a writer's life with a mother's life.

After the birth of her first child in 2006, Turkish writer Elif Shafek suffered from postpartum depression that triggered a profound personal crisis. Infused with guilt, anxiety, and bewilderment about whether she could ever be a good mother, Shafak stopped writing and lost her faith in words altogether. In this elegantly written memoir, she retraces her journey from free-spirited, nomadic artist to dedicated by emotionally wrought mother. Identifying a constantly bickering harem of women who live inside of her, each with her own characteristics-the cynical intellectual, the goal-oriented go-getter, the practical-rational, the spiritual, the maternal, and the lustful-she craves harmony, or at least a unifying identity. As she intersperses her own experience with the lives of prominent authors such as Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Alice Walker, Ayn Rand, and Zelda Fitzgerald, Shafak looks for a solution to the inherent conflict between artistic creation and responsible parenting.

With searing emotional honesty and an incisive examination of cultural mores within patriarchal societies, Shafak has rendered an important work about literature, motherhood, and spiritual well-being.

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Book Reviews

Eli Bailey

"This memoir was a real emotional rollercoaster. The writing was raw and powerful, and the author's experiences were so relatable. I found myself fully invested in the story and I couldn't put it down. The themes of motherhood, creativity, and self-discovery were expertly woven together, making for a truly touching read."

Avery Cooper

"This book was a true masterpiece. The writing was so beautiful and the story was so captivating. The author's experiences were so raw and honest, and I felt like I was right there with her every step of the way. The themes of motherhood, creativity, and self-discovery were so well-written, and I couldn't help but feel inspired after finishing this book."

Felix Wood

"This memoir was a total game-changer for me. The author's experiences were so relatable, and the writing was so powerful that I couldn't help but feel fully invested in the story. The themes of motherhood, creativity, and self-discovery were so well-written, and I found myself feeling inspired and empowered after finishing this book. A must-read for anyone looking for a touching and thought-provoking read."

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