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The Whole Intimate Mess: Motherhood, Politics, and Women's Writing (BWB Texts)

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‘I began to pull the threads of my experience back together. Instead of divergent stories about public failure, private torment, and postnatal distress, I started telling myself a united story: the truth, or as close as I could get to it.’ A Rhodes scholar and former Green MP, Holly Walker tells the story of how she became one of New Zealand’s youngest parliamentarians, h ‘I began to pull the threads of my experience back together. Instead of divergent stories about public failure, private torment, and postnatal distress, I started telling myself a united story: the truth, or as close as I could get to it.’ A Rhodes scholar and former Green MP, Holly Walker tells the story of how she became one of New Zealand’s youngest parliamentarians, how motherhood intervened, and how she found solace and solidarity in the writings of women. This short book makes a passionate case for the role of literature in political change and personal resilience, and for the importance of women’s voices in the public sphere. BWB Texts are short books on big subjects by great New Zealand writers. Commissioned as short digital-first works, BWB Texts unlock diverse stories, insights and analysis from the best of our past, present and future New Zealand writing.


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‘I began to pull the threads of my experience back together. Instead of divergent stories about public failure, private torment, and postnatal distress, I started telling myself a united story: the truth, or as close as I could get to it.’ A Rhodes scholar and former Green MP, Holly Walker tells the story of how she became one of New Zealand’s youngest parliamentarians, h ‘I began to pull the threads of my experience back together. Instead of divergent stories about public failure, private torment, and postnatal distress, I started telling myself a united story: the truth, or as close as I could get to it.’ A Rhodes scholar and former Green MP, Holly Walker tells the story of how she became one of New Zealand’s youngest parliamentarians, how motherhood intervened, and how she found solace and solidarity in the writings of women. This short book makes a passionate case for the role of literature in political change and personal resilience, and for the importance of women’s voices in the public sphere. BWB Texts are short books on big subjects by great New Zealand writers. Commissioned as short digital-first works, BWB Texts unlock diverse stories, insights and analysis from the best of our past, present and future New Zealand writing.

36 review for The Whole Intimate Mess: Motherhood, Politics, and Women's Writing (BWB Texts)

  1. 5 out of 5

    VeganMedusa

    I don't have the words to express how important this book is. This is the reality for many women, and most of us feel it's all our fault if we can't do it all. This little book will infuriate you and make you cry. Hopefully enough people, women and men, will read this and demand change, not just from Parliament, but from all of society. Enough with the continual praise of motherhood, and those who appear to juggle career and family successfully, while doing nothing practical to help mothers and I don't have the words to express how important this book is. This is the reality for many women, and most of us feel it's all our fault if we can't do it all. This little book will infuriate you and make you cry. Hopefully enough people, women and men, will read this and demand change, not just from Parliament, but from all of society. Enough with the continual praise of motherhood, and those who appear to juggle career and family successfully, while doing nothing practical to help mothers and families. Let's burn this fucking patriarchal system to the ground and have a society that truly values parenting. Heck, that just truly values people. Bravo, Holly Walker. For trying to have it all, and for channeling your failure (really society's failure) into this wonderful book. Your courage not just to believe in yourself and choose to have it all. Your courage to face the truth and take the time to work through it all. Your courage to then write it all down and send it out into the world, knowing it would make yourself and your family vulnerable to criticism from those who relish the status quo. Your courage in making yourself part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jen Hamilton

    Walker's raw honesty about her transition into motherhood and out of a political career leads to an empowering narrative here. This should be recommended reading in gender studies classes. Walker's raw honesty about her transition into motherhood and out of a political career leads to an empowering narrative here. This should be recommended reading in gender studies classes.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah Fraser

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nicky Hugill

  5. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Young

  6. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte Kirby Thomson

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ceridwyn

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anne Joyce

  9. 4 out of 5

    Branwen

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer O'Sullivan

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mama Twinkle

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rosie Williams

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

  15. 5 out of 5

    Penelope Bundy

  16. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

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    Catherine Stringer

  19. 4 out of 5

    Louise

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mrs Diane Maich

  21. 5 out of 5

    Arden Tanner-Dempsey

  22. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Joy Powell

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sacha O'Dea

  24. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Beagle

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Luke Henshall

  27. 4 out of 5

    GateGypsy

  28. 5 out of 5

    Katie Pennicott

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hilary Cook

  31. 4 out of 5

    Iain Cargill

  32. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Ah Kit

  33. 4 out of 5

    Lizzy Kane

  34. 4 out of 5

    Torie

  35. 4 out of 5

    Scarlett

  36. 5 out of 5

    Lesley McConnell

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