In Ways of Looking at a Woman, a book-length essay that interweaves memoir with film and literary history, Caroline Hagood assumes the role of detective to ask, what is a “woman,” “mother,” and “writer”? By turns smart, funny, and poignant, Ways of Looking at a Woman is a profound meditation on the many mysterious layers that make up both a book and a person.
“Caroline Hagood’s Ways of Looking at a Woman is a profoundly unique and honest piece of work, somehow executed with an astonishing lack of ego. She will break your heart with her naked sincerity; a masterful, singular writer who sheds light with every page.”
“This book is for the poetry lovers whose brains have gone fractured after childbirth, fractured by love and focus and television and books, every influence jostling for precious space. Is this a poem? Is it a memoir? Is it a book on art and motherhood and love? Yes. I’ll shelve it next to Maggie Nelson, on the shelf marked Necessary.”
"Her well-developed, imagery-laden prose makes the book an enjoyable read, and the essays' brevity makes them suitable for bingeing, if desired. Thoughtful, literary-minded musings on motherhood, art, and the frequent intersection of the two."
--Kirkus Reviews (Recommended Book)
"The insistence of the personal as the poetic politic is reminiscent of Second Wave feminist, Betty Friedan's seminal text The Feminine Mystique, only reimagined for the Instagram generation...This book--which defies genres and makes readers question how they see themselves and the women in their lives--explodes the code of so-called women's work. But it does so with lyricism and kitschy allusions, a most convincing way to argue a point and spark a revolution."
--The Brooklyn Rail
”Ways of Looking at a Woman is a smart, honest, funny, and endearing lyric portrait of the artist as a fragmented and reconstituted entity.”
“Caroline Hagood's critical eye is somehow both cool and passionate, and she uses it freely, beautifully, to gift readers a riveting portrait of a mind at work. Referencing high and low culture, family, academic syllabi, and most importantly, her body, Hagood has made something entirely new and all her own.”
“Hagood’s Ways of Looking at a Woman is strikingly honest, comforting, and it’s a thousand things at once—but that is exactly it— so are women, so are writers, and so are mothers. If there is any perfect way to capture an experience with a single unique perspective, this may be it. Ways of Looking at a Woman is a vital read for everyone—it teaches, it explains, and it can make you feel at home.”