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Maybe Baby


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About the Author

A former staff editor at Salon, Lori Leibovich has written for many publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Elle, Cookie, Harper's Bazaar, and the anthologies Mothers Who Think and The Real Las Vegas. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.


Inspired by a letter written to requesting more stories about people who chose not to have children, senior editor Leibovich brought together a broad spectrum of writers to create a refreshing, sometimes painful, collection of essays in which, to quote the subtitle, "28 Writers Tell the Truth About Skepticism, Infertility, Baby Lust, Childlessness, Ambivalence, and How They Made the Biggest Decision of Their Lives." Lionel Shriver celebrates her adults-only existence in "The Baby Stops Here"; Amy Richards goes through the seldom-discussed procedure of "selective reduction" in "Triple Threat"; and Kathryn Harrison cares for her dying grandmother as well as her newborn daughter in the beautiful "Cradle to Grave." Other standout essays include Neal Pollack's, defending his right to have only one child (his response to the often-voiced concern "Won't he be spoiled if he's the only one?" is "Not with our credit card debt"), and Rick Moody's, revealing his early-in-life assessment of children as "bloodthirsty dwarves." This bittersweet anthology is the perfect antidote to readers tired of the number of books lauding child-rearing and its many joys. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

This work, an outgrowth of a series that ran in 2003, considers one of modern life's great issues: parenthood. Divided into three sections ("No," "Maybe," and "Yes"), the 28 essays personalize the choices found in broader society today. Leibovich (senior editor, has selected stories from contributors (both established and emerging writers) who don't fit the traditional prototype; they are single parents, teenage mothers, gays and lesbians, and others whose path to parenthood was "complicated or unique." Michelle Goldberg expresses her lack of desire to have children in the face of doubters and doomsayers ("You'll regret it"). Lionel Shriver, a childless advocate for choice in parenthood, sees the hypocrisy in her position as she also believes that childlessness endangers our culture's ability to reproduce itself. Larry Smith describes how the ticking of his "sociological clock" has him pondering whether he can live without children. Louis Bayard writes about how adoption has "filled [him] up," while Amy Richards describes her experience with the selective reduction of her embryos. These superbly written essays are recommended for all libraries, especially gender studies and sociology collections.-Margaret Atwater-Singer, Univ. of Evansville Libs., IN Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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