Librairie D+Q was honoured to host Sheila Heti for the launch of the critically acclaimed and highly anticipated release of Motherhood. Sheila was joined in conversation by D+Q friend, and esteemed novelist, Heather O’Neill. This made for a delightful pairing, and we at D+Q will continue to make it a mission to orchestrate events that indulge our desire to eavesdrop on the chatter of two brilliant women. That seems to be the best way to collect sentiments on Simon Weil, at the very least. "The wrong way to say [her name] is the right way to say it,” said Heti.
The evening started with myself/Author Manager, Sruti Islam, gushing about the ways in which How Should a Person Be? shaped my/her early twenties (a very true story) and then delved into a fascinating conversation, much to the delight of a rapt and packed crowd.
To start, Sheila began a short reading from Motherhood. A novel in which its unnamed central female character struggles with the decision to have a child or not to have a child. “It is often said that whether or not to have children is the biggest decision a person can make. That may be true, but it also doesn't mean anything” Heti pondered.
O’Neill noted that to her, Heti was more of a philosopher than a novelist. Although Heti has often rejected this title, there is something uncanny in her work that shapes and interrogates thought itself. This meant the night took some dives into the investigation of our biological desire to procreate, and if that was necessarily telling of the ways a life ought to be lived. I mean, as Heti pointed out, "If you were told tomorrow that all your sexual fantasies would come true, you would have to go into hiding."