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The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade by [Ann Fessler]
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The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 600 ratings

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Length: 368 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to keep the baby," says Joyce, in a story typical of the birth mothers, mostly white and middle-class, who vent here about being forced to give up their babies for adoption from the 1950s through the early '70s. They recall callous parents obsessed with what their neighbors would say; maternity homes run by unfeeling nuns who sowed the seeds of lifelong guilt and shame; and social workers who treated unwed mothers like incubators for married couples. More than one birth mother was emotionally paralyzed until she finally met the child she'd relinquished years earlier. In these pages, which are sure to provoke controversy among adoptive parents, birth mothers repeatedly insist that their babies were unwanted by society, not by them. Fessler, a photography professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, is an adoptee whose birth mother confessed that she had given her away even though her fiancé, who wasn't Fessler's father, was willing to raise her. Although at times rambling and self-pitying, these knowing oral histories are an emotional boon for birth mothers and adoptees struggling to make sense of troubled pasts. (May 8)
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

Ann Fessler is professor of photography at Rhode Island School of Design and a specialist in video-installation art. She won a prestigious Radcliffe Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, for 2004, to complete her extensive research for this book. She is also the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the LEF Foundation, Boston; the Rhode Island Foundation; the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities; Art Matters, New York; and the Maryland State Arts Council. An adoptee herself, she begins and ends the book with the story of her own successful quest to find her birth mother. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • File size : 718 KB
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Publication date : June 26, 2007
  • Publisher : Penguin Books; Reprint edition (June 26, 2007)
  • Print length : 368 pages
  • ASIN : B008RMF4GS
  • Language: : English
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 600 ratings

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
600 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on March 22, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on August 29, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

Emily T
5.0 out of 5 stars Compassionate and brutal
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 7, 2018
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time2bounce
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick delivery
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 4, 2019
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George W.Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Sadness of the times
Reviewed in Canada on May 31, 2017
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Lanaya G.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Adoption Research
Reviewed in Canada on October 28, 2019
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Elaine Sinclair
5.0 out of 5 stars I found this book fascinating. I grew up during ...
Reviewed in Canada on February 25, 2018
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