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Girl in Glass: Dispatches from the Edge of Life Paperback – May 24, 2016
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"The author has spun a profound work of philosophy and sewn it into the shell of an exquisite memoir." ―Jennifer Senior, The New York Times
“In this courageous and passionate book, Deanna Fei tells the story of delivering a medically fragile child at 25 weeks. Even those who know the outcome will be gripped by the novelistic depiction of oscillating hope and despair. But the real accomplishment of this book is that it takes memoir as a jumping-off point for pondering the obligations attached to scientific progress and collective wealth. In addressing the issue of how much a human life is ultimately worth, it becomes a deeply moving work of moral philosophy.” ―Andrew Solomon, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of FAR FROM THE TREE
“Deanna Fei has written three gripping tales in one--her transcendent journey as the mother of a child born way too soon; her plunge into the harsh realities of corporate greed and bumbling when a certain CEO publicly labeled her daughter a 'distressed baby'; and her hard-won understanding of what society owes its most fragile beings. Readers will fall in love with Fei's daughter, and come to see that she is all of our children.” ―Lisa Belkin, author of LIFE'S WORK and former columnist for the NEW YORK TIMES's Motherlode blog
“Luminous . . . An unflinching testament to the improbable miraculousness of life. This is an astonishing book, full of dark beauty and grace and a hard-earned integrity, one that will haunt me for a long time.” ―Thrity Umrigar, bestselling author of THE SPACE BETWEEN US and THE STORY HOUR
“Fei grippingly details her dread, anxiety, and wonder with her second-trimester delivery . . . An urgent call for corporate compassion by a woman with a baby in peril.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Extraordinarily beautiful.” ―NPR, All Things Considered
“Impassioned, important . . . [Fei] critiques . . . the entire American health-care system. Yet this is not a fire-breathing polemic or a policy tract. It's most effective, and affecting, as a mother's memoir of how her life changed the day her daughter came into the world far too soon . . . [Fei] is an eloquent stylist who writes with immediacy and honesty . . . moving and persuasive.” ―The Washington Post
“Raw, unflinching, and beautifully written.” ―Good Housekeeping
“A heartbreaking yet beautiful story of motherhood and love . . . Fei is a gifted writer with a courageous tale to share. This memorable book belongs on the shelf of every library.” ―Library Journal
“[Fei] writes with precision, grace, and a devastating honesty.” ―The Boston Globe
"This memoir is so starkly, poignantly written, so smart and wrenching, and I just had a truly visceral response to both the story and to Fei's fierce, plain mother love throughout." ―(Year in Reading 2015), The Millions
"Everyone must read this book." ―Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC
"Honest and clear-eyed . . . Mesmerizing." ―Yahoo! Parenting
"Somehow finding immense bravery amid her turbulent experience, Fei has written a memoir, Girl in Glass . . . She’s able to construct a scene with just a few details and go straight to its emotional heart. Her writing immerses readers through intimate vignettes: the first time she was able to embrace her daughter; the daughter’s first feedings achieved painstakingly for months; her daughter’s first unassisted breaths . . . It’s amazing how she’s able to ask so many of the hard questions . . . about the value of one fragile human life. Anyone who recognizes or questions the idea that human life has a price tag will want to read this book." ―Tamiko Nimura, Hyphen Magazine
"Dramatic . . . Argue[s] eloquently against corporate greed and the bottom line of profit and loss." ―The Catholic Reporter
"One of 2015’s most moving and important books." ―Largehearted Boy
About the Author
Deanna Fei is the author of the award-winning novel A Thread of Sky. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Fei has received a Fulbright Grant and a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Time, Fortune, and Slate. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children. For photos, videos, and more, please visit deannafei.com.
Top customer reviews
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This heart-wrenching book is written by the mother of one of those babies who found herself first horrified and then later emboldened when the top executive of her husband's company publicly revealed their most private family anguish.
With incredible honesty and insight, author Deanna Fei describes the journey she and her husband, Peter, began when their daughter, Mila, arrived at just 25 weeks gestation, weighing a mere one pound, nine ounces. This tiny fighter spent the next three months in the NICU of a New York City hospital. When Mila was born, she was not fully formed. Not only were her lungs underdeveloped, but also her ears weren't developed, her bloody and bruised skin was gelatinous, her legs were like twigs of bone and she had no nipples. Deanna Fei details the struggles she went through at this infant's mother: Would it better to let her go or fight to keep her alive? Was this the right thing to do or was it almost cruel to Mila? They truly lived on an emotional roller coaster of life and death during the fall of 2012.
Eventually, Deanna and Peter experienced what they thought would never be possible: Things were normal again. Mila was 18 months old and doing very well. And then she was publicly labeled a "distressed baby," and all hell broke loose. Deanna decided to cut through the noise of the ensuing media firestorm and stand up for her "distressed baby" and those everywhere--even though she was doing battle with her husband's very large, deep-pocketed employer. An employer on whom they depended as a family. Everything was at stake. But so was her baby. And she knew what she had to do. This book is the result, and it valiantly gives a brave, loving voice to those who are rarely heard.
*Note: Several days after Armstrong made this "distressed babies" gaffe, he apologized and reverted AOL employees' 401(k) benefits as they had been previously.
Most recent customer reviews
I am a NICU nurse and I couldn't even get through a third of this book.Read more