The Room Lit by Roses
A lyrical meditation on life, time and eternity, The Room Lit by Roses chronicles with great tenderness and awe the months of Maso's pregnancy, from its charmed conception through the auspicious arrival of Rose, the daughter born to Maso and her partner Helen.
It's lovely to be in this gorgeous fog carrying all this miraculousness inside, Maso writes and it is from this place of miracle and memory, hope and dream that the journal unfolds, providing a luminous window onto one of the most mysterious and profound stations of the human journey. The Room Lit by Roses is a book of becoming, a poignant record of the progress of two souls in transit.
From one of our most daring writers comes this intimate and seductive book: a working journal of pregnancy that was a Village Voice pick for "Best Books of 2000."
Maso gives us a beautiful and surprising guided tour of creation...Turning biology and chemistry into poetry, she celebrates every microscopic development...The result, The Room Lit by Roses, provides a glimpse into an invisible world.
She renders the wonder and agony of childbirth and the glimpse of eternity in every newborn in searing, often sublime prose.
San Francisco Chronicle
Amazingly right on, Maso's stream-of-consciousness musings about brand-new motherhood--especially the tumult of emotions that follow a birth--blew this brand-new mother away.
The Room Lit by Roses is a hypnotic tour through the transformation of woman to mother, of writer (i.e., alien observer) to human being (i.e., participant in life's less cerebral activities). The nine months women carry children are literal in their metaphoric qualities, demonstrating physically how one's life will be stretched beyond believable limits once a woman becomes a mother and stops being a mother-to-be. Maso's take on this journey is enchanting.
Sexual politics naturally enters in, appearing in revealing, heartfelt entries, but whatever the topic, this is above all a journal of lush and lyric beauty, much of it reveling in the miracle of the female body and its astounding powers of transformation. Maso speaks of her Buddha spirit during pregnancy, and the glow she experiences comes shining through on the page. Indeed, she sings the body electric . . .
My mane grows wild and I stare. Into space forever. Lion haired. My nails grow long and sharp. The eye searching for the horizon line
I am all beauty. All beast. Something so startling. Like Rilke's panther. I am all want, hope, desire, fear.
We are two hearts, four arms, four legs, two brains, four eyes, in one body. It's the oddest thing
As if I were not strange enough already - now, this eight-chambered heart.
The baby begins her graceful descent, undeniably. Mozart's floating line of sixteenth notes
No, there are no somersaults now. She's outgrowing her house of blood and light.
With moments of pure poetry:
The bones in the pubis opening like a butterfly.
The bones of the hips unhinging.
The ribs floating open like water.
All this to allow the child through.
The Room Lit by Roses is one woman's heartfelt account of one of life's greatest moments and can be shared by those who have experienced it and those who haven't with the same degree of excitement and bittersweet wonder.
Jana Siciliano, Bookreporter