Oh, Baby! True Stories About Conception, Adoption, Surrogacy, Pregnancy, Labor, and Love

Edited by Lee Gutkind and Alice Bradley. . In Fact (PGW, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (294p) ISBN 978-1-937163-21-1
In her introduction, Lisa Belkin (Life’s Work: Confessions of an Unbalanced Mom) reflects on the shift from the time when she was a new parent (“parenting was still a silo”) to now, when multiple venues exist for discussion of every conceivable parenting-related topic. This book’s contribution to the genre is a thoughtful, often funny set of 23 essays. Adoptions are the subject of some of the most poignant entries, including Mary A. Scherf’s “Becoming His Mother,” about spending several days in a women’s prison in Guatemala on kidnapping charges, and Nancy McCabe’s “The Baby Room,” about accompanying her teenage daughter on a visit to the Korean orphanage where the latter was raised. There, the babies “lie listless and unblinking in the airless room” and “no one launches a full-voiced, full-bellied cry.” Crying, however, figures as a very real horror in other essays, such as Amy Penne’s appropriately titled “Apocalypse Now.” Most contributors are women, but a few fathers also list their woes. In “Four Early Lessons in Parenting,” Steven Church laments his shortcomings in living up to the “potential superhero” his son thinks he is: “My shoulder is wrecked. I’m lactose intolerant.” This collection’s wide range of topics should resonate with an equally wide range of parents. Agent: Joy Tutela, David Black Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/07/2015
Release date: 10/01/2015
Open Ebook - 287 pages - 978-1-937163-22-8
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