Thirty acclaimed writers share their personal birth stories—the extraordinary, the ordinary, the terrifying, the sublime, and the profane.
It’s an elemental, almost
animalistic urge—the expectant mother’s hunger for birth narratives. Bookstores
are filled with month-by-month pregnancy manuals, but the shelves are virtually
empty of artful, entertaining, unvarnished accounts of labor and delivery—the
stories that new mothers need most.
Here is a book that
transcends the limits of how-to guides and honors the act of childbirth in the
twenty-first century. Eleanor Henderson and Anna Solomon have gathered true
birth stories by women who have made self-expression their business, including
Cheryl Strayed, Julia Glass, Lauren Groff, Dani Shapiro, and many other
In Labor Day, you’ll hear about women
determined to give birth naturally and others begging for epidurals; women who
pushed for hours and women whose labors were over practically before they’d
started; women giving birth to twins and to ten-pound babies. These women give
birth in the hospital, at home, in bathtubs, and, yes, even in the car. Some
revel in labor, some fear labor, some feel defeated by labor, some are
fulfilled by it—and all are amazed by it. You will laugh, weep, squirm, perhaps
groan in recognition, and undoubtedly gasp with surprise. And then you’ll call
every mother or mother-to-be that you know and say, “you must read Labor Day.” Download and start listening now!