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I always wanted to have children. The earth might be in trouble—overpopulated, descending into ecological crisis—but I was always sure my kids would help make the world a better place. I would be a green-feminist supermum, having it all. Nothing turned out the way I expected.

Like many women, Sian Prior arrived at the point where she was ready to start having babies—and found they were not hers to have. Three miscarriages with a supportive partner; a new partner who already had all the children he wanted; step-children; step-grandchildren; the decision to parent solo, followed by many rounds of fertility treatments.

After all this Sian found herself, at fifty, childless and coming to terms. Weighing up the freedoms against the losses. Dealing with the unacknowledged legacy of her own lost father. Observing parenthood itself—how we succeed at it and how we fail—from a perspective outside the trenches.

Compelling, moving, beautifully written and unexpectedly uplifting, Childless is her story.

Sian Prior
About the Author

Sian Prior is a Melbourne-based writer, broadcaster, musician and creative-writing teacher. She has been an ABC radio host and a regular columnist for the Age/Sydney Morning Herald. Her first book, Shy: a memoir was published in 2014.

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Text publication date:
29 March 2022
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Praise for Sian Prior

‘The book interweaves psychological theory with personal experience in an intelligent and sophisticated manner…Shy is also a finely observed piece of writing. Prior captures details with prose equal to a skilled novelist…a deeply satisfying inquiry into the nature of self.‘

‘A fascinating meditation on how temperament can shape a person’s life.’

‘Charming and beautifully evoked…’

‘An acutely observed, beautifully written and moving account of the pain – and consolations – of childlessness. Childless is shot through with life, joy and the willingness to face the present with a powerful and unflinching gaze. A wonderful book.’

‘Honest, gentle, full of grief, joy, and wisdom. I adored this book.’

Other editions ofChildless
  • Childless
    ISBN: 9781922459862
    29 March 2022
    Buy ebook
Other Titles bySian Prior