Ayelet Waldman on the Meaning of Chai

Yesterday, I listened to Terry Gross interview Ayelet Waldman on the latter’s new book, Bad Mother. And I have to admit I was drawn in to listen to the 38-minute podcast largely thanks to the book excerpt NPR published to accompany the interview description.

You see, the excerpt explains how Waldman learned the meaning of “chai”–as in the symbolism of the number 18 in Jewish culture–and how she sees it now through the prism of motherhood.

It’s a lovely piece of writing. Read it here. (Warning: Although none of the NPR commenters whose words you’ll find at that link seem to have much to say about the excerpt, plenty seem to be offended by some of what Waldman reveals in the interview.)