In this intimate anthology, twenty writers explore the grief and sadness--and hope--that living through a miscarriage can bring.
Featuring such notable writers as Pam Houston, Joyce Maynard, Caroline Leavitt, Susanna Sonnenberg, and Julianna Baggott, among many others, About What Was Lost is the only book that uses honest, eloquent, and deeply moving narrative to provide much-needed solace and support on the subject of pregnancy loss.
Today, as many as one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. And yet, many women are surprised to find that instead of simply grieving the end of a pregnancy, they feel as if they are mourning the loss of a child. Taken aback by their sorrow, they seek solace in similar perspectives--only to find that a silence and lingering stigma surrounds the topic. Revealing a wide spectrum of experiences and perspectives, this powerful collection offers comfort and community for the millions of women (and their loved ones) who experience this all-too-common kind of loss every year.
While "20 to 25 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage," this heartbreaking loss is rarely discussed at length in pregnancy handbooks. Editor Gross decided to break this silence by assembling an anthology of essays by women who'd experienced miscarriages and were willing to write about it. Most of her contributors are freelance writers, academics or wives of academics. Even if they hadn't planned or wanted their pregnancies, all experienced their miscarriages as the death of a loved one. Demolished with grief, they found little usable sympathy, even from those who meant well. Some had understanding spouses; most only got real support from other women who'd also miscarried. Most went on to bear another child; some, like editor Gross, decided to adopt; a rare few decided their future did not include children (or more children). One contributor, Miranda Field, mentions positive rituals for grieving mothers in Japan, but aside from that there are few voices outside of the white, middle-class. Readers in search of something broader in scope might find it in Peggy Orenstein's Waiting for Daisy. Still, Gross's anthology fills a void and may open the door for more varied ones. (Jan.)
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December 25, 2006
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