Half Known Lives

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New Star Books, Jan 1, 2000 - Fiction - 242 pages
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Would an ardent male right–to–lifer change his tune if he found out he was pregnant? Thanks to advances in biotechnology, the female protagonists of Half Known Lives experiment with a fine upstanding citizen of their prairie city. They take Max Hoffman hostage, impregnate him, and keep him prisoner for the duration of the pregnancy. But the women’s close knit sisterhood will fray to reveal the envy, resentment and hostility concealed beneath their solidarity. Max’s pregnancy changes the lives of all involved — each of the women, Max, and not least, the foetus.

This mordant novel traces the consequences of the experiment to the end of the characters’ lives. Expertly playing off multiple viewpoints, Givner skewers sacred beef, feminist and reactionary alike, ensnaring us by turns in narrative distortion and scalding satire.

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About the author (2000)

Joan Givner is an author, essayist and biographer who has published four short story collections, acclaimed biographies of Katherine Anne Porter and Mazo de la Roche, as well as the complex "autobiography", The Self-Portrait of a Literary Biographer. A book reviewer for the Toronto Star, Quill and Quire, and BC Bookworld, she lives in Mill Bay, BC.

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