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A complex anthology on a complicated topic
on May 11, 2000
This ambitious anthology includes poignant memoirs, essays, poems, and excerpts from longer works. It is unified by its subject: childlessness, from the point of view (for the most part) of contemporary American women who, for various reasons, are without children. This is, we learn, no small thing.
The book is in three sections, "Facing Choice," Knowing Loss," and finally, "Bearing Life." Some of the writers are troubled, or grieving; some (Amy Hempel) are acidly funny, and many are coping with daughterhood, rather than motherhood. There are childhood diary entries, bitter memories, and great tenderness. The variety of experience in this anthology makes it an admirable and moving collection.