cover image Knocking Myself Up: A Memoir of My (In)Fertility

Knocking Myself Up: A Memoir of My (In)Fertility

Michelle Tea. Dey Street, $28.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-321062-2

In this frank and funny memoir, essayist Tea (How to Grow Up) spares no detail of her arduous odyssey of getting pregnant at 40. “I’m about to bring you into my inner world,” she promises readers, “during a period of time when that space was as wild, messy, hopeful, dizzy, tragic, terrifying, and openhearted as any era I’ve ever lived.” Despite the title, it takes a village to get the author pregnant, including an acupuncturist, a friendly witch, a number of friends to ferry fertility meds across the border, and a glamorous drag queen sperm donor. Every stage of Tea’s quest presents revelations devastating—like discovering uterine fibroids after months of failed insemination attempts—dazzling, and packed with information one may not expect when they’re expecting: ovulation (unexpectedly aggro), implantation (may cause bleeding), pregnancy (who knew it could change the shape of one’s eyes?). Taken as a whole, Tea’s unconventional “birth story” serves as a celebration of the human body, its hidden miracles, and, as she aptly puts it, “not just the dramatic climax of a last push and a first breath, but the story of a choice made, a dare accepted, a journey undertaken.” This heartfelt work embraces every facet of the human experience: heartache, hope, and—with a little luck—joy. (Aug.)