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Girl in Glass: How My "Distressed Baby" Defied the Odds, Shamed a CEO, and Taught Me the Essence of Love, Heartbreak, and Miracles Hardcover – Deckle Edge, July 14, 2015
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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 . . . effective, and affecting . . . [Fei] is an eloquent stylist who writes with immediacy and honesty.” ―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.” ―starred review, 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, Slate, Huffington Post, and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.
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Top Customer Reviews
Fei recounts a story that no parent would want to share, yet which any parent will find themselves relating to, and the book alternates moments of fear and helplessness with fully earned oases of joy and hope.
I seriously doubt the one star reviewer read the book in his library - or at all - as he posted his review the day the book came out, and his politically-driven review is disappointing not only because he largely misses the point, but also because his reading misses the raw humanity that rises from every page of Fei's memoir. If you finish the book and what stays with you is the insurance stuff, and not the beautiful, agonizing journey that one family has to endure, then I don't think you were reading very closely.
The latter part of the book takes on many controversial topics and has continued to ignite important discussions on the topics of how we value lives, how we spend our healthcare dollars, how doctors make critical decisions about resuscitation and the care of extremely premature babies, and how we protect our private healthcare information as well as that of those in our care or our employ. These are complex questions and issues, and just by bringing them to the forefront of our awareness so we can debate the issues as a society, Deanna Fei has done us a great service. I recommend this book highly.
Sue Hall MD, Author of For the Love of Babies
Besides writing a mesmerizing story filled with emotion, passion, intelligence and often brutal, painful honesty, Ms. Fei inspired me to think deeply about topics I never gave much thought to before – premature babies, NICU care, medical privacy and medical ethics, among many other things. Part of the brilliance of Girl in Glass was how by sharing the most deeply personal story a mom could share (and doing so with unflinching honesty and integrity), she set the stage for raising larger issues that impact so many people. Thanks to this book, I found myself undergoing a significant transformation. The wheels are turning, and I know I am not alone. Deep thanks, appreciation and admiration to Ms. Fei for using her voice to advocate for others, and for pushing all of us to think about what we need to do to ensure justice for everyone – from extremely premature newborns and their families to our co-workers and neighbors and strangers alike.
In writing Girl in Glass, Deanna Fei has made an invaluable contribution to the literature of birth stories and mother/child (and family) memoir. For anyone whose pregnancy/birth is similar to hers/Mila’s, or really for anyone facing an unexpected crisis, they now have an example of how to deal with such a situation with honesty, courage, determination and love. At the same time, by sounding a much needed alarm on issues bigger than just her family, she has highlighted the importance of taking action. For this and so much more, she and her family are heroes in my book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a NICU nurse and I couldn't even get through a third of this book.Read more