A chronicle of motherhood and infancy, Brady’s Mutability marks the excesses of attention and love in this unique relationship, the gradual unfurling of one person into two. In poems and prose, these scripts offer a “model of duplicity,” revealing how the beginnings of language, the spaces which open up through movement, the undeniable possibility of harm, and the unbearable intimacy between mother and child challenge the premise of individual autonomy. Seeking “a writing of honest particularity, not clean, in a form which would catch rather than cauterize this pouring,” Mutability brilliantly captures the experience of motherhood.
At the same time, Brady explores the child-space, a utopian place of discovery and adaptation, as an arena of risk, violence, possession, and privation. Carefully observing the consequences of “the beginning of all possibility, and the beginning of its finitude,” the book notes the child’s discovery of being a new person to “the discovery of an exit.” Brady’s unique and moving book celebrates and investigates life’s most essential relationship.
Born in Philadelphia, Andrea Brady now lives in London, where she teaches at Queen Mary University of London. She is Director of the Archive of the Now, an online repository of contemporary poets reading their work; copublisher of Barque, a small press; and the author of Vacation of a Lifetime.