cover image I Know What’s Best for You: Stories on Reproductive Freedom

I Know What’s Best for You: Stories on Reproductive Freedom

Edited by Shelly Oria. McSweeney’s, $21.99 paperback (454p) ISBN 978-1-952119-21-7

Oria (editor, Indelible in the Hippocampus) presents an immersive anthology of nonfiction, fiction, poetry, art, and drama touching on a broad range of reproductive issues, including “miscarriages, fertility, contraception, surrogacy, childfreeness... and, of course, abortion.” Published in partnership with the Brigid Alliance, “a nonprofit travel service for abortion seekers,” the collection features writers from a diverse range of racial, ethnic, sexual, and gender identities, including R.O. Kwon, Tommy Orange, Saïd Sayrahfiezadeh, Kirstin Valdez Quade, and Tiphanie Yanique. There are stories and autobiographical accounts of unwanted pregnancies and the difficulties in resolving them; wanted pregnancies that develop complications and require termination; disagreements between partners about whether to have children; and the experience of carrying someone else’s child. In many pieces, the drama comes from the realization that freedom of choice is an illusion, as people confront biological barriers and those put in place by hospitals, laws, social expectations, and even their own partners. The collection’s greatest strength is its intersectionality and the diversity of genres, though some pieces are more fully realized than others. Still, this is a timely and frequently captivating look at a hot-button issue. Photos. (Mar.)