on motherhood and writing, the reflections of Margaret Drabble

I wasn’t thinking about literary history when I wrote The Millstone. I was writing to exorcise fear, I was writing for luck, I was writing in hope. There are bits of the novel I regret, moments of unwitting snobbery and self-conscious smartness. But Rosamund was what she was, she was of her age, caught at the opening of an era that she didn’t know how to enter – on the border between the one-night stand of the ignorant virgin and the one-night stand of Bridget Jones. The sexual ignorance of the young in those days was remarkable. So was the sexual ignorance of the old. My publisher’s reader (a man, and middle aged) queried the plot, on the grounds that it was almost impossible to get pregnant during the first act of intercourse.

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