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A brilliant exploration of the natural, medical, psychological, and political facets of fertility When Belle Boggs's "The Art of Waiting" was published in Orion in 2012, it went viral, leading to republication in Harper's Magazine, an interview on NPR's The Diane Rehm Show, and a spot at the intersection of "highbrow" and "brilliant" in New York magazine's "Approval Matrix." In that heartbreaking essay, Boggs eloquently recounts her realization that she might never be able to conceive. She searches the apparently fertile world around her--the emergence of thirteen-year cicadas, the birth of eaglets near her rural home, and an unusual gorilla pregnancy at a local zoo--for signs that she is not alone. Boggs also explores other aspects of fertility and infertility: the way longing for a child plays out in the classic Coen brothers film Raising Arizona; the depiction of childlessness in literature, from Macbeth to Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; the financial and legal complications that accompany alternative means of family making; the private and public expressions of iconic writers grappling with motherhood and fertility. She reports, with great empathy, complex stories of couples who adopted domestically and from overseas, LGBT couples considering assisted reproduction and surrogacy, and women and men reflecting on childless or child-free lives. In The Art of Waiting, Boggs deftly distills her time of waiting into an expansive contemplation of fertility, choice, and the many possible roads to making a life and making a family.
Winner of the 2009 Bakeless Fiction Prize, a confident debut collection from Belle Boggs about life on and around the Mattaponi Indian Reservation Set on the Mattaponi Indian Reservation and in its surrounding counties, the stories in this linked collection detail the lives of rural men and women with stark realism and plainspoken humor. A young military couple faces a future shadowed by injury and untold secrets. A dying alcoholic attempts to reconcile with his estranged children. And an elderly woman's nurse weathers life with her irascible charge by making payments on a decrepit houseboat—the Mattaponi Queen. The land is parceled into lots, work opportunities are few, and the remaining inhabitants must choose between desire and necessity as they navigate the murky stream of possession, love, and everything in between.
Mothers have consistently relied upon one another for guidance and support as they navigate the difficult world of parenting. For many women, the increasingly established online community of “mommyblogs” now provides a source of camaraderie and support that acknowledges both the work of mothering and the implications of its undertaking. Beyond their capacity to entertain, how have mommyblogs shifted our understanding of twenty-first-century motherhood? In examining the content of hundreds of mommyblogs, May Friedman considers the ways that online maternal life writing provides a front row seat to some of the most raw, offbeat, and engaging portraits of motherhood imaginable. Focusing on the composition of the “mamasphere” and on mommyblogs’ emphasis on connection, Friedman reveals the changing face of contemporary motherhood – one less concerned with the proscriptions of what good mothers should do, and more invested in what diverse mothers have to say.
A refreshingly honest memoir of a infertility follows one couple's decade-long search to become pregnant and its impact on their marriage. Reprint.
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A candid assessment of the pros and cons of delayed motherhood. Biology does not bend to feminist ideals and science does not work miracles. That is the message of this eye-opening discussion of the consequences of delayed motherhood. Part personal account, part manifesto, Selvaratnam recounts her emotional journey through multiple miscarriages after the age of 37. Her doctor told her she still "had time," but Selvaratnam found little reliable and often conflicting information about a mature woman's biological ability (or inability) to conceive. Beyond her personal story, the author speaks to women in similar situations around the country, as well as fertility doctors, adoption counselors, reproductive health professionals, celebrities, feminists, journalists, and sociologists. Through in-depth reporting and her own experience, Selvaratnam urges more widespread education and open discussion about delayed motherhood in the hope that long-lasting solutions can take effect. The result is a book full of valuable information that will enable women to make smarter choices about their reproductive futures and to strike a more realistic balance between science, society and personal goals. From the Trade Paperback edition.
An intensely personal narrative of loss, hope, and longing for a child. In this brave and lucid account, Julia Leigh broaches a challenging life event often left undiscussed: how the struggle to have a child can take an agonizing toll. Leigh’s experience at the vanguard of medical science is acutely rendered, physically and emotionally, transmitting what it feels like to so desperately wish for a child while knowing that the odds are stacked against you. From the daily shots she puts herself through at home, to hopes raised and dashed, and finally to the decision to stop treatment, Avalanche bears witness to Leigh’s raw desire, suffering, strength, and, in the end, transformation—a shift to a different kind of love. The reader looks behind the scenes of a clinic and discovers how things really work: reality is a far cry from the slick marketing of the billion-dollar infertility industry. As for so many women, Leigh’s treatment failed, but her ghost child lingers in memory.

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