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Maybe Baby: 28 Writers Tell the Truth About Skepticism, Infertility, Baby Lust, Childlessness, Ambivalence, and How They Made the Biggest Decision of Their Lives Paperback – Bargain Price, April 10, 2007

3.8 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Inspired by a letter written to Salon.com requesting more stories about people who chose not to have children, senior editor Leibovich brought together a broad spectrum of writers to create a refreshing, sometimes painful, collection of essays in which, to quote the subtitle, "28 Writers Tell the Truth About Skepticism, Infertility, Baby Lust, Childlessness, Ambivalence, and How They Made the Biggest Decision of Their Lives." Lionel Shriver celebrates her adults-only existence in "The Baby Stops Here"; Amy Richards goes through the seldom-discussed procedure of "selective reduction" in "Triple Threat"; and Kathryn Harrison cares for her dying grandmother as well as her newborn daughter in the beautiful "Cradle to Grave." Other standout essays include Neal Pollack's, defending his right to have only one child (his response to the often-voiced concern "Won't he be spoiled if he's the only one?" is "Not with our credit card debt"), and Rick Moody's, revealing his early-in-life assessment of children as "bloodthirsty dwarves." This bittersweet anthology is the perfect antidote to readers tired of the number of books lauding child-rearing and its many joys. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

A former staff editor at Salon, Lori Leibovich has written for many publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Elle, Cookie, Harper's Bazaar, and the anthologies Mothers Who Think and The Real Las Vegas. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (April 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060737824
  • ASIN: B002ECEG2U
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,249,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I couldn't put this book down. I'm a literate 27-year-old with an exciting life, just starting to feel that baby lust that so many of us struggle with, yet not sure if the sacrifices, lifestyle changes and restructuring of priorities that happens with parenthood is going to be right for me. This book gave me some excellent food for thought.

Every angle that I had wrestled with and many more were presented by real people who have struggled with the same questions I have. I couldn't believe the diversity of thought, the raw and painful honesty, and the naked love shown in each of these pieces. It helped me sort through my priorities and examine my personality, and gave me a much clearer idea of exactly what my personal pros and cons are.

So much of the writing about parenthood resorts to cliches and easy answers, and none of the writers in this book copped out and allowed themselves that comfort of falling back on the usual sentiments. The writers were honest enough to examine even the negative personality traits which played a part in helping them make their decisions, and were also honest about the positive and negative things they felt and experienced because of their decision.

I was surprised and impressed by this book. It was not a comfortable read and made me squirm inside many times, seeing my own selfishness or worries reflected back at me, but the book got to the heart of the many truths and considerations involved in making this hugely important decision.
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Format: Hardcover
Most of the childfree/childless people in this book claim that they may change their minds or regret not having kids. Only one really stood out and said no I am never having kids (Elinor Burkett) The ones who were on the fence really seemed like they will all have kids one day. And there are no I regret having kids stories from the parents.

The book reads very fast and is an interesting read. But I would not add it to a list for those trying to chose if they should have kids or not. It leans too much towards being a parent. If you want honest anwsers from both the childfree and moms/parents I recommend "do I want to be a mom?" you can find it here on amazon.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This just wasn't the book for me. Maybe it was because it was filled with stories by writers that I couldn't easily relate to (one who decides to become sterilized at 30, one who is bipolar, one who is in jail, one who gets pregnant by a man in jail, etc etc.). I'm not judging these people, but I don't feel like they reflect the norm. I also feel like the authors didn't make a strong case for the category they fell into (yes, no or uncertain). So for me personally, it did not help solve my "maybe baby" dilemma.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked this book up second hand. It seemed like an interesting topic. I must say that many of the stories presented were interesting pieces of non-fiction. These well-written and personal tales were a quick read but I found it really hard to relate to most of the writers. Many seemed overly neurotic, some merely callous. I didn't find the book helpful enough that I would loan it to any friends who were deciding on whether or not to have children. There are a small handful of gems in the book. I would recommended it only as an interesting read for non-fiction short stories if you get can pick it up at the library.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Maybe Baby is a series of essays from adults on the subject of having a child. The first third of the book is from adults who decided not to have children. The second half is from adults who would like to have children or are undecided, but haven't yet. The third is about adults who did have children. I'm not sure how I felt about the book being grouped in this way because it made it very clear what the theme of the story would be, rather than letting each story tell itself. Other than this fact, I found the book very enjoyable. The stories represent a great deal of diversity, from gay parents, parents of Asperger's Syndrome children, adopting parents, teen parents. Of course, there were many stories from people who were not parents as well, and they also ranged in their diversity. Both men and women wrote essays in this book, which surprised and pleased me. On one hand, I think it is different to be a father than a mother - it is a very different thing to decide to carry a child in your womb than for someone else to do it. On the other hand, I am sure men will be interested in this subject and would appreciate their perspective being included.

If you are ambivalent about having a child, this book will help. Oddly enough, I am still ambivalent but I am now quite sure that I do not want to NOT have children. Now, it is only a matter of deciding WHEN I will have children. If you read this book, you will find sections that resonate with you. Perhaps if you would like to be childless, the first third will really resonate and you will feel confirmed in your convictions. For me, I realized that I did not want to be childless and I hadn't felt the feelings expressed in that section of the book.
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Format: Hardcover
I was walking through the bookstore and this title caught my eye... as at the time.. I too was contemplating having a child with my husband.. but we both are "on the fence" about it. This book jumped out at me and practically slapped me in the face, perfect timing.. It's a wonderful read and refreshing. I was so tired of hearing couples, trying to "recruit" me to motherhood and often had been criticized for saying, I'm not sure I want kids... This book was a great eye opener, although I am still "on the fence" this book had expressed my feelings through the voice and thoughts of these talented writers... It was nice to hear parents in the book express their true feelings about their doubts and worries....Thank you for your stories, and your expression. This book is a must for everyone... with kids or without.
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