Bearing Life: Women's Writings on Childlessness

Front Cover
Rochelle Ratner
Feminist Press at CUNY, 2001 - Fiction - 248 pages
3 Reviews
A wall of silence surrounds the experience of women who are childless, whether by choice or by circumstance.Bearing Life is the first anthology to marshal the power of literature to break this silence.

Here, more than forty contemporary writers reflect candidly and movingly on what it means to live as women without children. These stories, poems, and personal essays speak directly from--and to--the conflicting, often painful, and sometimes liberating emotions of childless women. The selections move through the ambivalence and denial childless women confront within themselves, to the misunderstanding and hostility they confront in the outside world, toward a space where an acceptance and even celebration of childlessness can begin to take place.

Bearing Life includes work by Julia Alvarez, Margaret Atwood, Rita Mae Brown, Ana Castillo, Sandra Cisneros, Diane diPrima, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Janice Eidus, Daniela Gioseffi, Amy Hempel, Linda Hogan, bell hooks, Hettie Jones, Irena Klepfisz, Joy Kogawa, Valerie Miner, Kathleen Norris, Naomi Shihab Nye, Joyce Carol Oates, Grace Paley, Molly Peacock, Marge Piercy, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Evelyn C. Rosser, Jane Rule, May Sarton, Sandra Scofield, Amy Tan, Luci Tapahonso, and many others.
 

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BEARING LIFE

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This compelling collection of short stories, essays, excerpts, and poetry--brought together by novelist, poet, and writing instructor Ratner, a longtime LJ reviewer--explores the lives, the fears, and ... Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

January 1953
15
Reminded of My Biological Clock While Looking at Georgia OKeeffes Pelvis One Pelvis With Blue 1944
16
Women Without Children Women Without Families Women Alone
19
This Is a Question I Do Not Answer
29
From Rita Will
31
Old Maids
36
The daughter of fur
38
The Vow
40
Stork Talk
144
Mother and Two Daughters
147
Taking the Train to Harmon
155
Norton 59900
157
The Child Taken from the Mother
163
In the Garden
165
All the Colors of Sunset
168
Nothing
172

Tie Me Up Tie Me Off
48
Minor Surgery
51
From The Joy Luck Club
60
Antisocial Baby Notes
64
Pretty Story
67
Something I Forgot to Tell You
69
Meditations on Childlessness
70
The Case Against Babies
77
The Arm Baby
84
A Meditation on Childlessness
92
KNOWING LOSS
103
I Get My Period September 1964
105
From Crossing the Moon
106
Forty Trembling
112
The Wash House
113
Outside Pisa
120
The Deferred Dream
122
The Childless Woman Poems
131
The Mother
134
Notes Toward a Novel
136
The Weremother
140
Mother of Nothing
173
BEARING LIFE
175
Land of the Living
177
Liferower
179
You Remember Sophia
182
From Obasan
185
A Lifetime
188
Hairball
190
The Latest Celebrity Interview
200
CherryShiree
204
Parent as a Verb
209
The Question of Children
211
All My Kids
213
Imagining Motherhood
218
From Black Woman Artist Becoming
222
From Journal of a Solitude
226
Upbringing
231
About the Authors
233
Further Reading
242
Credits
245
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Rochelle Ratner (1949-2008) is the author of the novelsBobby's Girl andThe Lion's Share, as well as several volumes of poetry. She was the executive editor of theAmerican Book Review and a widely published reviewer.

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