Emily C. Bloom: I Cannot Control Everything Forever

Thursday, April 25, 2024 - 6:30pm

Literati gladly welcomes Emily C. Bloom in conjunction with the release of her new book I Cannot Control Everything Forever. She'll be joined in conversation by poet and U of M faculty Linda Gregerson. 

About the book: I CANNOT CONTROL EVERYTHING FOREVER: A Memoir of Motherhood, Science, and Art is an account of author Emily Bloom’s journey towards and through motherhood, a path that has become, for the average woman, laden with data and medical technology. It’s a memoir about navigating the gap between expectation and reality in modern motherhood, and through braided narratives explores a complicated path to becoming a parent, offers background on the science and technology of pregnancy and parenting, and draws upon a range of works of art to explore the technological choices and resulting uncertainties that parents are faced with today.

The book chronicles Emily’s decisions regarding genetic testing and diagnosis, technologies that offer the illusion of certainty but carry the weight of hard decisions. Her desire to know more thrusts her back into the history of science, as she traces the discoveries that impacted the modern state of pregnancy and motherhood. With the birth of their daughter, who is diagnosed with congenital deafness and later, diabetes, Emily and her husband find their life centered around medical data, devices, and doctor’s visits, but also made richer and fuller by parenting an exceptional child.

As Emily learns, technology and data do not reduce the labor of caretaking. These things often fall, as the pandemic starkly revealed, on mothers. Trying to find a way out of the loneliness and individualism of 21st century parenthood, Emily finds joy in reaching outwards, towards art and literature–such as the maternal messiness of Louise Bourgeois or Greek myths about the power of fate–as well as the collective sustenance of friends and community.

Emily C. Bloom is a Mellon Public Humanities Fellow at Sarah Lawrence College, where she teaches literature. She also coordinates lifelong learning programs at the Wartburg Adult Care Community in Mount Vernon, NY. Her book The Wireless Past: Anglo-Irish Writers and the BBC, 1931-1968 (Oxford University Press, 2016) was awarded the First Book Prize by the Modernist Studies Association. She has previously taught at Columbia University, the US Air Force Academy, and Georgia State University. She lives with her family in New York City.

Linda Gregerson is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently of Canopy (Ecco/HarperCollins 2022). A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Gregerson directs the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan

Event address: 
124 E. Washington
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
I Cannot Control Everything Forever: A Memoir of Motherhood, Science, and Art By Emily C. Bloom Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250285683
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - April 16th, 2024

Canopy: Poems By Linda Gregerson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780358622253
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - March 22nd, 2022