- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover; First Edition edition (March 22, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1594489432
- ISBN-13: 978-1594489433
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 66 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,679,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Baby Love Hardcover – March 22, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
The author of Black, White and Jewish gives voice to the uncertainty of her generation in a powerful new memoir. In journal format, beginning with the day her pregnancy is confirmed and ending as she and her partner bring their son home, Walker tells of her physical and emotional journey toward motherhood, poignantly reflecting on the ambivalence that has delayed her dream of having a child for years. Like many 20- and 30-somethings, she was raised to view partnership and parenthood as the least empowering choices in an infinite array of options. This tension comes to the fore as Walker's mother, Alice Walker, opposes her decision to have a baby and challenges her account of their relationship in Black, White and Jewish. Alice ends their relationship and removes Rebecca from her will, and Rebecca endures a tumultuous pregnancy, estranged from her mother as she prepares to become one herself. Elusive health complications arise, and she hops from doctor to doctor, ever wary of Western medicine. Through a lengthy litany of decisions (midwife versus M.D., stroller versus "travel system"), she Googles her way to information overload. At the end of this nine-month mental tug-of-war, she emerges changed: a meat eater, a committed partner with a renewed faith in intimacy, a new woman plus-one. Walker's story is accessible and richly textured, told with humor, wit and warmth. (Mar.)
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Those of us who have followed Rebecca Walker have come to expect a brilliant journey, one that locates the balance between reason and emotion, blood and sinew. Baby Love does not disappoint. Rebecca Walker's offering does what all finely crafted memoirs should seek to do: expose the experience of the writer but only to illumine the experience of the reader. As a daughter, but most of all as a mother I read this book and was transformed. -- Asha Bandele, author of The Prisoner's Wife: A Memoir
Walker sways on a kind of scary, sublime suspension bridge, stretched between being somebody's child and becoming somebody's mother, and turning her fiercely compassionate intelligence to both. Thanks to her unique vision, the familiar views along the way become nothing short of astounding. -- Catherine Newman, author of Waiting for Birdy
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Her tone and attitudes switch so rapidly that Ms. Walker sometimes seems like her life has just been one huge identity crisis after another-- one minute a radical vegan, the next, shoving steaks down her throat at the speed of light. One minute acknowledging her privilege, the next, acting like her life is unimaginably difficult even though she's obscenely wealthy and hasn't had to work or support herself at all. One minute talking about her "son"-- the child of a woman she'd played house with for a couple of years-- and the next, declaring that he really isn't her son because adoption is not at all like being a real mom (what a HUGE insult to adoptive parents!). I read the whole book wondering who the heck Rebecca Walker actually is, because she can't seem to make up her mind.
I really did want to like this book, but I just didn't. If Rebecca could get over her narcissism just a bit, she might have the capacity to be a talented author. For now, though, nuh-uh.
For third wave feminist, social memoirist Rebecca Walker, the desire to have a baby was always undermined by the doubt down through her own mother's ambivalence towards her...
In this memoir of evolving consciousness, the quest to have and then carry a child, the clear-eyed seeker pushes through- - and past -- her own sticking points to discover both the meaning of real (not brokered by marketing) love and pushes past the fear of the inherent limitations of her own iconic mother. In the realizations of what motherhood can be, the concern about what she's surrendering to bring another life into the world and the journey and compromises with the partner who helps her understand what can be, this is a book that speaks to larger realities of her self-reliant generation.
RW is not alone in this predicament. She is articulating for a lot of women. Women who have no trust issues in their important relationships specially mother/daughter relationship will not be able to identify with RW and the book. They may still find interesting the details of what steps todays women are taking during pregnancy. I found the doola issue instructive. Maybe because I am a first generation immigrant engaged in scientific endeavor and do not have enough real life examples.
I hope RW goes past the mistrust issue now that she is herself a mother. A lot of us who are not self-aware propagate these issues to the next generation involuntarily. I am waiting for her next book............