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Download Homing Instincts: Early Motherhood on a Midwestern Farm Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Homing Instincts: Early Motherhood on a Midwestern Farm Audiobook, by Sarah Menkedick Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sarah Menkedick Narrator: Sarah Menkedick Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781441737120
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Sarah Menkedick spent her twenties trekking alone across South America, teaching English to recalcitrant teenagers on Réunion Island, picking grapes in France and camping on the Mongolian grasslands; for her, meaning and purpose were to be found on the road, in flight from the ordinary. Yet the biggest and most transformative adventure of her life might be one she never anticipated: at thirty-one, she moves into a tiny nineteenth-century cabin on her family’s Ohio farm, and begins the journey into motherhood.

In eight vivid and boldly questioning essays, Menkedick explores the luminous, disorienting time just before and after becoming a mother. As she reacquaints herself with the subtle landscapes of the Midwest, and adjusts to the often surprising physicality of pregnancy, she ruminates on what this new stage of life means for her long-held concepts of self, settling, and creative fulfillment. In “Millie, Mildred, Grandma Menkedick,” she considers the nature of story through the life of her tough German grandmother, who raised two boys as a single mother in the 1950s and then spent her seventies traveling the world with her best friend Marge; in “Motherland,” on a trip back to Oaxaca, Mexico to visit her husband’s family, she finally embraces her Midwestern roots; in “The Milk Cave,” she discovers in breastfeeding a new appreciation for the spiritual and artistic potential of boredom; and in “The Lake,” she revisits her childhood with her father, whose relentless optimism and mystical streak she sees anew once she has a child of her own.

A story of a traveler come home to the farm; of becoming a mother in spite of reservations and doubt; and of learning to appreciate the power and beauty of the quotidian, Homing Instincts speaks to the deepest concerns and hopes of a generation.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This debut breaks any existing stereotype of memoir about pregnancy and motherhood. The eight long essays are meandering, smart, and packed with cultural, literary, and scientific references."

    New York Journal of Books

  • “Menkedick’s intensely intimate collection of essays chronicles her journey…A moving and deeply personal look at one woman’s transformation.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Menkedick’s first book gracefully encourages careful introspection and finding one’s true self and place among the everyday moments.”


  • “This revealing book is a lovely exercise in self-inquiry that will resonate with mothers-to-be.”


  • “Menkedick’s writing is insightful and evocative, drawing on all the senses, and readers will be impressed by the sense of place in her writing.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “An emotionally raw, tender, and hauntingly precise meditation of impending motherhood…Stunning.”

    Jeanne Marie Laskas, author of Concussion

  • “Bold and lyric…Poetic in its prose, Menkedick explores the corners of our globe both near and far, offering heart, humor, and grace.”

    Amy Butcher, author of Visiting Hours

  • Longlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay
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About the Author

Sarah Menkedick is a writer, editor, mother, and traveler. Fluent in French and Spanish, she has lived and worked in Mexico, France, China, and Japan and traveled across five continents. She holds a BA in history and history of science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Pittsburgh, where she taught nonfiction writing. She is a 2015–2016 Fulbright fellow in Oaxaca, Mexico. She is the founder of Vela, an online magazine of nonfiction writing by women. Her work has also appeared in Harper’s, Oxford American, Guernica, New Inquiry, and The Best Women’s Travel Writing and has been commended by The Best American Nonfiction Writing series.