CHOICE explores the one of the most polarizing political issues of our time reproductive choice.
CHOICE attempts to raise the discourse on reproductive choice, which often devolves to cliches and name-calling, by posing the question—what is it like to make any sort of reproductive choice? What is it truly like to use birth control, the morning after pill, use a sperm bank, have an abortion, adopt a child, give a child up for adoption, bring a pregnancy to term?
In these 22 stunningly honest essays, writers describe their experiences making some of these decisions, as well as many others. Established writers such as Francine Prose, Jaquelyn Mitchard, Pam Houston, Carolyn Ferrell, Ann Hood, Deborah Macdowell, and Sarah Messer contribute essays, along with emerging writers such as Kimi Faxon Hemingway, Stephanie Anderson, and Ashley Talley.
The essays in CHOICE explore the complexities inherent in every reproductive decision, whether it is to choose to have a child or terminate a pregnancy; the guiding philosophy of the book is that this issue is too complex and individual to be legislated, and the writers honesty about their experiences will humanize this issue, no matter what the readers stand on it.
Karen E. Bender is the author of the novel Like Normal People. Her fiction has appeared magazines including The New Yorker, Granta, Zoetrope, Ploughshares, Story, The Harvard Review, and has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories and twice in the Pushcart Prize series. Her stories have been read on the Selected Shorts program on NPR and she has received grants from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has taught creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and at the Antioch LA MFA program. She is finishing a new novel and collection of stories.
Nina de Gramont is the author of a collection of short stories, Of Cats and Men. Her first novel, Gossip of the Starlings, is forthcoming. Her fiction has appeared in a variety of publications including Isotope, Nerve, Exquisite Corpse, Post Road, and Seventeen.
“This collection, compiled by two savvy fiction writers fed up with the bumper-sticker mentality of most pro-life and pro-choice arguments, illuminates the volume of options, obstacles and ambivalence that reproduction brings through personal, often painful stories of real women. Examining almost every angle of the pregnancy experience are two dozen writers, editors and educators, including novelist Jacquelyn Mitchard (The Deep End of the Ocean), writer's writer Francine Prose (Reading like a Writer) and editor Elizabeth Larsen (one of the creators of Sassy magazine). Collectively celebrating the courage of the choice-whatever that choice may be-Bender and de Gramont offer these stories as a bulwark against the criminalization of women's reproductive options (the book was conceived amidst South Dakota's proposed abortion ban); among these tales of women choosing to terminate pregnancies, to have children with men unfit to raise them, to fight against their own bodies to become pregnant, to keep an at risk-pregnancy both doctors and ministers advise against, that purpose is powerfully realized. Each tale is unique, and politically charged buzz terms (RU-486, Roe V. Wade, etc.) gain new impact nestling alongside these writers' honest quests for basic human needs: love, nurturing, and above all, possibility.”
— Publishers Weekly
Publication Date: October 12, 2007
trim size: 8.7 x 6.4 x 1