From Publishers Weekly
This collection, compiled by two savvy fiction writers fed up with the bumper-sticker mentality of most pro-life and pro-choice arguments, illuminates the volume of options, obstacles and ambivalence that reproduction brings through personal, often painful stories of real women. Examining almost every angle of the pregnancy experience are two dozen writers, editors and educators, including novelist Jacquelyn Mitchard (The Deep End of the Ocean), writer's writer Francine Prose (Reading like a Writer) and editor Elizabeth Larsen (one of the creators of Sassy magazine). Collectively celebrating the courage of the choice-whatever that choice may be-Bender and de Gramont offer these stories as a bulwark against the criminalization of women's reproductive options (the book was conceived amidst South Dakota's proposed abortion ban); among these tales of women choosing to terminate pregnancies, to have children with men unfit to raise them, to fight against their own bodies to become pregnant, to keep an at risk-pregnancy both doctors and ministers advise against, that purpose is powerfully realized. Each tale is unique, and politically charged buzz terms (RU-486, Roe V. Wade, etc.) gain new impact nestling alongside these writers' honest quests for basic human needs: love, nurturing, and above all, possibility.
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About the Author
Karen E. Bender is the author of the novel Like Normal People
. Her fiction has appeared magazines including The New Yorker, Granta, Zoetrope, Ploughshares, Story, The Harvard Review
, and has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories
and twice in the Pushcart Prize series. Her stories have been read on the Selected Shorts
program on NPR and she has received grants from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has taught creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and at the Antioch LA MFA program. She is finishing a new novel and collection of stories.
Nina de Gramont is the author of a collection of short stories, Of Cats and Men. Her first novel, Gossip of the Starlings, is forthcoming. Her fiction has appeared in a variety of publications including Isotope, Nerve, Exquisite Corpse, Post Road, and Seventeen.