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Matrescence

On Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood

Author Lucy Jones
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From the acclaimed author of Losing Eden an important, moving, passionate and passionately written inquiry—personal and scientific—into what happens—mentally, spiritually, physically, during the process of becoming a mother, from pregnancy and childbirth to early motherhood and what this profound process tells us about the way we live now.

In this important and ground-breaking, deeply personal investigation, Jones writes of the emerging concept of “matrescence”—the wholess of becoming a mother.
      Drawing on her own experiences of twice becoming a mother, as well as exploring the latest research in the fields of neuroscience and evolutionary biology; psychoanalysis and existential therapy; sociology, economics and ecology, Jones writes of the physical and emotional changes in the maternal mind, body, and spirit and shows us how these changes are far more profound, wild, and enduring than have been previously explored or written about.
      Part memoir, part scientific and health reporting, part social critique, ecological philosophy, eco-feminism and nature writing, Matrescence is a kind of whodunnit, ferreting out with the most nuanced, searing and honest observations, why mothers throughout this heightened transition are at a breaking point, and what the institution of intensive, isolated motherhood can tell us about our still-dominant social and cultural myths.

“Sweeping and courageous.” —Tom Mustill, biologist, filmmaker, author of How to Speak Whale: A Voyage into the Future of Animal Communication
 
“The best book I’ve ever read about motherhood. Myths are . . . smashed from page one, which makes this a thrilling read. Matrescence is essential reading, bloody and alive, roaring and ready to change conversations.” —Jude Rogers, The Observer (UK)

“To read this book – and I very much hope its audience is not confined to women who are about to or have recently given birth – is to emerge chastened and ready for change. Anger is not an emotion we expect from mothers. But, as Jones says, good anger is necessary. Let us hold to that.” —Marianne Levy, I News (UK)
 
“A beautiful contemplation of the extraordinary yet ordinary metamorphosis that adult humans undergo as they become mothers. I was entranced . . . a passionate and powerful maternal roar for change. Wonderful.” —Gaia Vince, award-winning journalist; author of Adventures in the Anthropocene
 
“Excellent on the difference between historical views of motherhood and actual experience. In fact, Jones seems to come as close as it’s possible to describing this indescribable moment in a woman’s life.” —Joanna Pocock, The Spectator (UK)
 
“[Jones] charts the monumental impact of having children from every angle. A boundary-pushing book that is more complex and creative, transcending even the ‘part-memoir, part-critical analysis’ genre that has become such a commonplace format for female authors in recent years. There is much to be gleaned as Jones skillfully elucidates the monumental shifts [motherhood] brings. The chapter on the maternal brain is especially fascinating and, more importantly, validating for those of us who feel society’s minimising of matrescence flies in the face of our experience of it. Jones never becomes bogged down in the material, which is quite an achievement considering its scope. At times, I wanted more. Jones is a pioneer, and as such has left some ground unexplored. This book is a beginning, and a fine one at that.” Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, The Guardian
 
“A beautiful, intelligent book that is as tender and moving as it is demanding and urgent. An absolutely essential new addition to the literature of mothering and parenthood.” —Clover Stroud, author of The Wild Other

“Jones writes beautifully with searing honesty about life-changing physical and emotional impact of having a child.” —Rachel Sylvester, The Times (UK)

“The single most powerful, life-changing, heartachingly healing thing I have been given. Matrescence holds the power to carry us back to ourselves, to the rituals and community from which we came. . . Lucy Jones is the person who should have written it. I am so glad she did. She has given us mammals such a gift, one that will save lives.” —Kerri ní Dochartaigh, author of Cacophony of Bone
© Rupert Van den Broek
LUCY JONES was born in Cambridge, England, and educated at University College London. She has written extensively on culture, science and na­ture. Her articles have been published on BBC Earth and in The Sunday Times, The Guardian and the New Statesman. Her first book, Foxes Un­earthed, received the Society of Authors’ Roger Deakin Award. Jones lives in Hampshire, England. View titles by Lucy Jones

About

From the acclaimed author of Losing Eden an important, moving, passionate and passionately written inquiry—personal and scientific—into what happens—mentally, spiritually, physically, during the process of becoming a mother, from pregnancy and childbirth to early motherhood and what this profound process tells us about the way we live now.

In this important and ground-breaking, deeply personal investigation, Jones writes of the emerging concept of “matrescence”—the wholess of becoming a mother.
      Drawing on her own experiences of twice becoming a mother, as well as exploring the latest research in the fields of neuroscience and evolutionary biology; psychoanalysis and existential therapy; sociology, economics and ecology, Jones writes of the physical and emotional changes in the maternal mind, body, and spirit and shows us how these changes are far more profound, wild, and enduring than have been previously explored or written about.
      Part memoir, part scientific and health reporting, part social critique, ecological philosophy, eco-feminism and nature writing, Matrescence is a kind of whodunnit, ferreting out with the most nuanced, searing and honest observations, why mothers throughout this heightened transition are at a breaking point, and what the institution of intensive, isolated motherhood can tell us about our still-dominant social and cultural myths.

“Sweeping and courageous.” —Tom Mustill, biologist, filmmaker, author of How to Speak Whale: A Voyage into the Future of Animal Communication
 
“The best book I’ve ever read about motherhood. Myths are . . . smashed from page one, which makes this a thrilling read. Matrescence is essential reading, bloody and alive, roaring and ready to change conversations.” —Jude Rogers, The Observer (UK)

“To read this book – and I very much hope its audience is not confined to women who are about to or have recently given birth – is to emerge chastened and ready for change. Anger is not an emotion we expect from mothers. But, as Jones says, good anger is necessary. Let us hold to that.” —Marianne Levy, I News (UK)
 
“A beautiful contemplation of the extraordinary yet ordinary metamorphosis that adult humans undergo as they become mothers. I was entranced . . . a passionate and powerful maternal roar for change. Wonderful.” —Gaia Vince, award-winning journalist; author of Adventures in the Anthropocene
 
“Excellent on the difference between historical views of motherhood and actual experience. In fact, Jones seems to come as close as it’s possible to describing this indescribable moment in a woman’s life.” —Joanna Pocock, The Spectator (UK)
 
“[Jones] charts the monumental impact of having children from every angle. A boundary-pushing book that is more complex and creative, transcending even the ‘part-memoir, part-critical analysis’ genre that has become such a commonplace format for female authors in recent years. There is much to be gleaned as Jones skillfully elucidates the monumental shifts [motherhood] brings. The chapter on the maternal brain is especially fascinating and, more importantly, validating for those of us who feel society’s minimising of matrescence flies in the face of our experience of it. Jones never becomes bogged down in the material, which is quite an achievement considering its scope. At times, I wanted more. Jones is a pioneer, and as such has left some ground unexplored. This book is a beginning, and a fine one at that.” Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, The Guardian
 
“A beautiful, intelligent book that is as tender and moving as it is demanding and urgent. An absolutely essential new addition to the literature of mothering and parenthood.” —Clover Stroud, author of The Wild Other

“Jones writes beautifully with searing honesty about life-changing physical and emotional impact of having a child.” —Rachel Sylvester, The Times (UK)

“The single most powerful, life-changing, heartachingly healing thing I have been given. Matrescence holds the power to carry us back to ourselves, to the rituals and community from which we came. . . Lucy Jones is the person who should have written it. I am so glad she did. She has given us mammals such a gift, one that will save lives.” —Kerri ní Dochartaigh, author of Cacophony of Bone

Author

© Rupert Van den Broek
LUCY JONES was born in Cambridge, England, and educated at University College London. She has written extensively on culture, science and na­ture. Her articles have been published on BBC Earth and in The Sunday Times, The Guardian and the New Statesman. Her first book, Foxes Un­earthed, received the Society of Authors’ Roger Deakin Award. Jones lives in Hampshire, England. View titles by Lucy Jones