Join us on Thursday, June 17 at 6pm PT when Krys Malcolm Belc discusses his book, The Natural Mother of the Child: A Memoir of Nonbinary Parenthood, with Alex McElroy on Zoom!
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Praise for The Natural Mother of the Child
"A formally daring queer memoir about parenthood and inheritance and the way our bodies resist the binaries of the state; The Natural Mother of the Child is brilliant." --Carmen Maria Machado, author of In the Dream House
"All memoirs offer a study of a body through time, but my favorites make this fact transparent, refuse to separate the self from its tangible form. This memoir is an embodied story--of non-binary parenthood, of true partnership and the challenge of navigating systems which were not designed with us in mind, but on which our most intimate decisions sometimes depend. Above all, this is a love story, one which tracks the evolution of self through the relationships that define it. I loved this portrait of a queer family's making, its proof that the ways we love and are loved create us." --Melissa Febos, author of Abandon Me & Girlhood
"This is a gorgeous memoir about families, raising children, and figuring out how to live in a world where intimate matters are both inscribed by individual history and entangled with the workings of the State. A work of solace and communion, this book is destined to be a major addition to the literature of parenthood and selfhood, one that will be read for years to come." --Lydia Kiesling, author of The Golden State
"Krys Malcolm Belc's lyrical memoir brings much-needed nuance to all these old conversations about baby-making, families, parenting, and gender. Belc's narrative of his conscious creation of self and family is generous, resonant, and powerful--I will be pressing this lovely book into the hands of all the parents and parents-to-be I know!" --Andrea Lawlor, author of Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl
About The Natural Mother of the Child
Krys Malcolm Belc's visual memoir-in-essays explores how the experience of gestational parenthood--conceiving, birthing, and breastfeeding his son Samson--eventually clarified his gender identity.
Krys Malcolm Belc has thought a lot about the interplay between parenthood and gender. As a nonbinary, transmasculine parent, giving birth to his son Samson clarified his gender identity. And yet, when his partner, Anna, adopted Samson, the legal documents listed Belc as "the natural mother of the child."
By considering how the experiences contained under the umbrella of "motherhood" don't fully align with Belc's own experience, The Natural Mother of the Child journeys both toward and through common perceptions of what it means to have a body and how that body can influence the perception of a family. With this visual memoir in essays, Belc has created a new kind of life record, one that engages directly with the documentation often thought to constitute a record of one's life--childhood photos, birth certificates--and addresses his deep ambivalence about the "before" and "after" so prevalent in trans stories, which feels apart from his own experience.
The Natural Mother of the Child is the story of a person moving past societal expectations to take control of his own narrative, with prose that delights in the intimate dailiness of family life and explores how much we can ever really know when we enter into parenting.