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No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood Paperback – April 16, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (April 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580054439
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580054430
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"No Kidding is funny. I laughed out loud, but I knew with Henriette, there'd be more to it than just laughs. Choosing not to have children is unfathomable to me, making this book all the more fascinating."
Rosie O'Donnell

"The No Kidding essays made me laugh, made me cry, made me wanna give my kid back."
Teri Garr

"No Kidding is a funny, unique, and sometimes brave collection of essays written by funny, unique, and—for taking on this topic—always brave women."
Michael Patrick King, writer/director of Sex and the City

"An entertaining and hilarious collection of essays. These writings are sometimes bittersweet and will appeal to all readers, but especially fans of women’s studies and contemporary popular culture."
Library Journal, starred review

About the Author

Henriette Mantel is a writer/actress/director/producer. She is proud that so many of her friends don’t have kids and have lived to write about it. In eighth grade, Henriette came in third in the Vermont State Forestry Essay Contest. Her Emmys for television comedy writing will never compare to that. Her favorite things she has written/directed are the show In the Middle, Midge and Buck, the documentary An Unreasonable Man, and The Beaver Play. She grew up in Vermont before it was cool to do so, and continues to live between there and New York City. You can see what she’s done in her illustrious career at HenrietteMantel.com.

Customer Reviews

Funny, insightful and a delight to read.
pam gould
Most of them were fun to read & compare to what I've been thinking & feeling.
NY rat
Secretly, though, I don't want to catch anything from it.
V. E. Duncan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By carol on April 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm blown away by the smart, insightful, and oh so relateable portraits painted by these talented writers. This compilation takes the topic of unmotherhood to fresh new territory. I rejoice. I am not a freak and I am not alone! Hooray!!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Wendy B. Hanawalt on May 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"No Kidding" is, by turns, funny and sad and smart and insightful. The essays are written by some of the wisest, wittiest women around today and offer insights into an often-misunderstood choice that a lot of women make. After reading this book, you will definitely think twice before telling your child-free friend that she will "change (her) mind" someday, or suggest that one should reproduce as nursing home insurance. (My great-aunt, one of the original "working girls," died at the age of 93 with a ton of adoring nieces and nephews surrounding her.) I took a different path in life, and after reading this book, I'm not sure why. I mean, I adore my boys and wouldn't send them back for anything, but the book actually made me think about why it was that I decided to have children. I went from unquestioned acceptance of my life choice to actually exploring it, and that's a fabulous gift, especially when it's accompanied by laugh-out-loud humor. I'm pretty sure I produced at least one son who'll be able to care for me in my dotage, but I admit to some sadness about the career choices made, the options NOT taken. It's all about choices, about grieving AND celebrating our choices, which makes "No Kidding" must reading for every woman alive.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By William B. Randall on April 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The essays contained within "No Kidding" are not about taking sides on the issue of whether or not to bear or raise children. They're interesting, well written, thought provoking, emotional, and sometimes hilarious. As a man with two adult children, I found the unique perspectives compiled by Henriette Mantel compelling. No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By V. E. Duncan on June 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
I knew in high school that I didn't want kids. Like, I never want them. Ever. I don't like kids; I don't like babies; I don't like diapers and other baby things. I don't like kids' toys, and I don't like stepping on Legos in bare feet in the middle of the night. I don't even like holding babies, and I could tell you stories about the times I've declined to hold someone else's child (seriously, though--who wants that kind of responsibility?) and then have had that person look at me like I have two heads. Usually, I have to give some excuse that the mother (or, at times, the father) will accept, like, "Oh, no, I couldn't. I'm getting over a cold, and I don't want your darling to catch anything from me!" Secretly, though, I don't want to catch anything from it. Babies terrify me. And kids aren't much better; they're just creepy small adults that hang out in elevators and harass adults who are already going off the deep end by saying things like, "Come plaaaaaay with us." Yeah, no thanks; I'll take the stairs.

Of course, being a woman and all, I've gotten every response from "Oh, you're too young to really know if you want kids yet; you'll change your mind when you're older" to "You're biological clock will start ticking and then you'll start nesting" to "But... you're a woman!" You know, as if that's some kind of argument for ever having children. I was super excited when the publisher of No Kidding kindly sent me an ebook copy of the book so that I could relate (and commiserate) for myself.

Each essay is--by turns--funny, poignant, and inspirational. Many of the writers knew from the get-go that they would never have children; some of them kept expecting it would happen at "the right time" and "the right time" never came.
Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Frannie on April 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Who has written about this subject? No one until now. This book is in uncharted territory, entertaining and hilariously funny, all from very individual perspectives. The essay format works well, delving into these lives intimately for a short time. Enjoyed it very much!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By White Square - Fine Books & Art on May 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have seven siblings and am the mother of four. It never occurred to me that I would not have children. But, much as I would not change a thing about my life, falling into motherhood was not very mature. This collection of essays helped me realize that (a) there are legitimate alternative choices to be made (in retrospect, choices I at least should have considered) and (b) I need to beware applying subtle procreative pressure on my daughters.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on April 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
An interesting and well written collection of essays that will make you laugh out loud, will tug at your heart strings and will make you think. It's not trying to sway anyone's opinions on the topic, but is rather an open and honest account of how these women from various walks of life bypassed parenthood. Worth the read!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Hilda Ella on May 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
I am in my early 60's and people like myself never speak about this subject. It is therefore so refreshing and essential that this book was written.

I happen to have known of "H.M" since I got interested in humor writing and comedy many years ago. For this reason, I trusted that the book would be useful and valuable when I saw it First advertised.

I instantly emailed my childless friends because, as I mentioned above, this is a subject that is never spoken about in my circles of friends.

I suspect that there are many other women, like myself, who don't speak about this subject, and it is therefore IMPORTANT to spread the word that this book exists AND THAT IT IS SUCH A 'GREAT READ'!

If what I wrote (above) wasn't enough, the other contributors to the book are some of my favorite comediennes.

PLEASE TAKE A CHANCE, BUY THIS BOOK, SHARE IT WITH YOUR CHILD'FUL' AS WELL AS 'CHILD LESS' FRIENDS!
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