Not Any Sheila: A Woman At War

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Jump to navigation. The infighting in Delhi Congress took a new turn on Wednesday when AICC incharge PC Chacko authorised the three working presidents to work freely citing the bad health of Sheila Dikshit, seen as an attempt to dilute her powers.

Sheila R. Phipps | Department of History

In his letter, Chacko expressed displeasure that his earlier directions were not implemented and some so-called spokespersons of the party were issuing irresponsible statements and questioning the decisions of AICC incharge. He said that Assembly elections in Delhi are a few months away and the working of Delhi Congress Committee has to be streamlined as early as possible. Following the letter, Sheila issued an action note of her own assigning different set of responsibilities to the working presidents.

Earlier, Dikshit dissolved all block committees and started the process of selecting new block presidents by appointing district and block observers.

Commotion in Moscow

In a letter to Dikshit last Sunday, Chacko overturned her decision to dissolve the block committees. Bruce Springsteen was playing. The book incorporated real emails and tape-recorded conversations as well as first-person narration from a character named Sheila, a writer, focusing on her friendship with a painter named Margaux. In the accompanying note about How Should a Person Be? Motherhood joins How Should a Person Be? Heti started the book after entering her 30s, when her uncertainty about motherhood had begun to feel like limbo. She remembers a conversation in this period with the writer Sarah Manguso, who became a mother in the course of their friendship and whose memoir, Ongoingness , deals with the early days of parenthood.

When I spilled beer on my phone during my lunch with Heti, she worried about whether it was one of the waterproof ones hers is not and wiped up my mess with a napkin. In the course of our time together, she also worried that I might be hungry after traveling she recommended the poutine , advised me on the best time to call a cab earlier than I thought , and urged me to use my umbrella, since I lacked a hat in the rain.

That evening, in the bathroom of the suburban public library where she was giving a lecture, she offered me a Clif Bar from her purse. I accepted. Gender can be a source of possibility, but it can also be limiting when it becomes the only lens through which people see your work.

Share your thoughts and debate the big issues

While certain readers applauded How Should a Person Be? One of her inspirations for the book was My Dinner With Andre, but all anyone ever wanted to ask her about was Girls. Two big brown rabbits, Bun and Bun-Bun, occupy the front yard. Heti has lived in Toronto her whole life, save for two short stints in Montreal, and in her writing, the city often sounds like a place where government health care has fostered the fantasy version of college life: where friends all live cheaply nearby and run into each other, drink , go on long walks, have long talks, and undertake projects.

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At 41, Heti herself — fair and faintly elfin, with overgrown bangs — could pass for a grad student. The community she describes combines artistic seriousness with a playful sense of humor and a constant appetite for conversation, argument, and collaboration.

2. She published her first fiction novel at the age of 81

At first, Motherhood was supposed to look something like Women in Clothes. Heti imagined a collection of interviews with women about having children, or not.

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The narrator talks about motherhood with other women inexhaustibly: younger women, older women, women her age, women with babies, women with frozen eggs, women with regrets. The experience of childbirth and new motherhood — even just the question of motherhood — comes to look like a female proving ground; something like what war has been to male writers.

Life-or-not-life stakes loom. Growing up with this particular mother has left her uncertain whether children can ever be a pleasure rather than a source of pain. In the meantime, as she scrutinizes the tea leaves of her mood, she finds herself increasingly isolated. If the novel has a climax, it arrives when the Sheila stand-in shows her manuscript about motherhood to her mother and gets to hear her response.


I sent her a PDF to read on her iPad. Ah, yes: the drugs. Midway through the book, the narrator begins to recognize a connection between her moods and her menstrual cycle.

In some cases, these women take antidepressants to alleviate their symptoms. She gets a prescription herself. Everything changes. Were they signs of existential struggle or were they symptoms?

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