Book details

I Cannot Control Everything Forever

A Memoir of Motherhood, Science, and Art

Author: Emily C. Bloom

I Cannot Control Everything Forever

I Cannot Control Everything Forever


About This Book

An eloquent and intimate debut memoir about navigating the gap between expectation and reality in modern motherhood.


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Book Details

An eloquent and intimate debut memoir about navigating the gap between expectation and reality in modern motherhood.

I Cannot Control Everything Forever is Emily Bloom’s journey towards and through motherhood, a path that has become, for the average woman, laden with data and medical technology. Emily faces 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, Type 1 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.

With lyrical and enchanting prose, I Cannot Control Everything Forever is an inspired meditation on art, science, and motherhood.

Imprint Publisher

St. Martin's Press



In The News

“[A] remarkable memoir.”—The New Yorker

“[An] affecting debut memoir...Thoughtful reflections on technology and humanity.”Kirkus Reviews

“Emily Bloom draws on history, literature, and personal experience of what she calls ‘adjacency to disability’—first as a sister, then as a mother—in her exploration of how modern technology intervenes in the ancient arts of mothering and care work.I was very moved by this book.”
Jessica Winter, author of The Fourth Child

“A poignant, luminous, and exquisitely crafted debut memoir. With honesty, wit, stunning prose, and a formidable intelligence, Bloom delivers profound insights into modern parenthood, illuminating its complexities through meditations on science, technology, and art. This is required reading for anyone seeking to better understand the way love generates deep and interconnected truths. It was an honor to read Emily’s work.”
Chloé Cooper Jones, author of Easy Beauty

“A compelling memoir of the early years of parenthood, of dealing with doctors, of dealing with bodies and illnesses, and of trying to make sense of these experiences by 'reading' them through science and art. There is so much care and intelligence on every page. Most of all, at the end of each day as I put my own life aside, I wanted nothing more than to pick this book up and connect to Bloom's through her beautiful, lucid, wise writing.”
Emilie Pine, author of Notes to Self

Compelling, moving, and insightful. Bloom explores the frustrations of contemporary parenting in ways that will be instantly recognizable, as she writes with compassion and curiosity about pregnancy and mothering at the intersection of technology and love.”
—Julie Phillips, author of The Baby on the Fire Escape: Creativity, Motherhood, and the Mind-Body Problem

“A big-hearted, wise, and beautifully written account of longing for and diving into motherhood, of parenting a child with unexpected challenges, and the technologies that sustain and complicate our lives. I wanted to read on to know what happened next and I did not want it to end.”
—Rachel Adams, author of Raising Henry: A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability, and Discovery

“From the tangled roots of the pregnancy test and abortion to the always on of glucose monitors and hearing aids, Emily Bloom helps us re-see the contemporary rituals and rules of mothering through and among its technologies. This brilliant memoir of parenting and disability (and art and literature) is an essential book.”
—Hannah Zeavin, author of The Distance Cure: A History of Teletherapy

“Emily Bloom’s enthralling memoir takes readers on a journey, at times fraught, at times joyous, as she embraces the unpredictability of pregnancy and parenthood.”
—Randi Epstein, author of Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything

About the Creators

I Cannot Control Everything Forever

I Cannot Control Everything Forever