There are some women who, the moment they have conceived a child, are aware of it—just as you sense if you’re being watched or followed. I have never had a child, but once in my life, a long time back and for a single day, I thought I was pregnant. I was twenty-three years old, three years a wife. I had no plans at that stage for a child. But my predictable cycle had gone askew, and one morning I felt as if some activity had commenced behind my ribs. It wasn’t breathing, or digestion, or the thudding of my heart.
I’ll be honest—I’m growing a bit numb to reading what is essentially the same alarmist, predictive article that those opposed to a Trump presidency have been writing as of late. And so I approached this collection of “sixteen writers on Trump’s America” with trepidation, literary firepower notwithstanding. Mantel’s piece takes a different approach, though, and because of that, it becomes something pretty special.