A Life's WorkRachel Cusk
When first published in 2001, it divided female critics and readers. One famous columnist wrote a piece demanding that Cusk's children were taken into care, that was she was unfit to look after them. Oprah Winfrey invited her on the show to defend herself and the book as protests grew about the its honest, gritty account of the misery of those early months. It is a seminal, stand-out book on the complications of being an ambivalent mum in an age of white-washed, Annabel Karmel'd new families.