Increase is Lia Purpura’s chronicle of her pregnancy, the birth of her son, Joseph, and the first year of his life. She recounts her journey with the heightened awareness of a mother-to-be and through the eyes of a poet, from the moment she confirms her pregnancy as “A blue X slowly crosses itself, first one arm, then the other in the small white window of the test,” through “the X of his crossed feet in sleep” as her child’s world begins. Purpura’s sensibility transcends the facts of personal experience to enfold the dramatically changing shape of a larger, complex world.
These closely knit essays portray the rhythms of a new mother’s life as it is challenged and transformed in nearly every aspect, from the emotions of wildness, loss, need, and desire to the outward progress--and interruption--of her work and activities. Increase offers us motherhood at an extraordinary pitch, recording, absorbing, and revisiting experiences from a multitude of angles. Purpura presents her story of discovery with unequaled eloquence, grace, and power.