Flesh & Blood: Reflections on Infertility, Family, and Creating a Bountiful Life: A Memoir

N West Moss. Algonquin, $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-64375-070-5
“My uterus and I have been at odds for forever,” writes essayist Moss (The Subway Stops at Bryant Park) in this powerful account of her decades-long battle with infertility. Moss doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the physical and emotional ramifications of her three miscarriages—the first of which occurred when she was 41—each detailed as a devastating and distinctly gory affair. “I have spent a lot of my life cleaning up after myself in fear and shame,” she writes. Her struggle to bring a child to full term was eventually explained when she was diagnosed with a uterine hemangioma, an extremely rare, benign tumor, which led to her decision to have a hysterectomy. When she resolved to write about the surgery online, she was met with an outpouring of similar stories from friends and strangers. “Each person’s grief is an ocean wide,” she reflects, “forced into a thimble.” In poetic language that’s by turns blunt and tender, Moss chronicles how she and her husband weathered their sorrow and surfaced from it, dignity still intact, their love “made up of the things we couldn’t give to one another, but also full of how hard we tried.” This is as an enriching addition to the canon of literature around infertility. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/16/2021
Release date: 10/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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