Top critical review
Graduate student's perspective
on March 3, 2005
The novel Life depicts the struggles and triumphs the heroin, Anna Senoz, experiences during college, career, and in relationships. The story begins with Anna recalling her past while she was an undergraduate. She describes the pleasurable experiences she has while exploring her sexuality but then sees it crushed when her lab mate rapes her. This incident causes a change in her graduate path and places her in the field of Human Assisted Reproduction. While in graduate school, she becomes pregnant from a weekend rendezvous. She decides to marry the father who promises to take care of their child while she would continue to work. However, she loses the baby and they decide to leave the area. From here, Anna works at several different jobs and eventually goes back to get her degree. Throughout her work in Human Assisted Reproduction, she comes across a major finding that would be controversial if published.
As a current female graduate student in the sciences, I found that I could relate to some of the emotions and trials that Anna experienced at different stages in her life. As a scientist especially at the graduate level, it is easy to completely immerse yourself in your work without the regard of close friends and family. This often occurs when important timely results need to be produced and published. As a female scientist, Anna often had to struggle with different forms of sexual discrimination inflicted by her boss, fellow coworkers and colleagues. I personally have not had to experience anything near the extremes that she has had to endure and was stunned at how blunt some of the instances were. One of my personal goals is to be able to balance both a career and a family. I feel that I first need to establish a career before considering a family. Anna however found herself unwed, pregnant, and a graduate student at the same time. The strength and courage that Anna possessed when she was pregnant with her daughter Lilly was amazing to me. Not only did she have to deal with being an unwed, pregnant graduate student but she also had to cope with a boss who now thought less of her as a scientist. Even through all of her tribulations, Anna is able to develop into a successful scientist who had the courage to publish results that created turbulence to the human race.