It seemed, at times, an act of profound selfishness, to have a child so that I might become a parent; but selfish, too, to have a child and stay the same, or not to have one - unless the only honest choice would have been to try to become this kinder version of myself without the need to bring another into it . . . In Sight a woman recounts her progress to motherhood, while remembering the death of her own mother, and the childhood summers she spent with her psychoanalyst grandmother. Woven among these personal recollections are significant events in medical history: Wilhelm Rontgen's discovery of the X-ray and his production of an image of his wife's hand; Sigmund Freud's development of psychoanalysis and the work that he did with his daughter, Anna; John Hunter's attempts to set surgery on a scientific footing and his work, as a collaborator with his brother William and the artist Jan van Rymsdyk, on the anatomy of pregnant bodies. What emerges is the realisation that while the search for understanding might not lead us to an absolute truth, it is an end in itself. Wonderfully intelligent, brilliantly written and deeply moving, Sight is a novel about how we see others, and how we might know ourselves.
Longlisted for the 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction