I’ve only ever posted book reviews or book talk here, so I recognize I’m breaking with expectations. But I’m using this as a shameless platform to plug the new blog project I’ve started (not to fear, Literary Vice continues without interruptions – I’m neck deep in A Brief History of Seven Killings which is (no spoiler) not at all brief).
The new blog is Pregnant Pause for stories about being not-pregnant. You can read more about the project (and some of our first stories) (and find out how to contribute) on the site, but here’s a teaser:
The stories we hear about pregnancy are (usually) happy ones. And for good reason: people like to hear happy stories, and pregnancy is (usually) a happy experience. And we hear these stories a lot. And we tell them a lot.
But for many – so many – people, fertility, pregnancy and childbirth is fraught. The story peppered with plot points and characters that give pause. For some, these are stories that don’t immediately resolve, or ever resolve. Where nothing is learned. No triumphalist narrative of challenge overcome. Just a shit heap of sadness and loss. For others the story of not-being-pregnant gets woven into a longer narrative and is but one chapter. And for others still being not-pregnant is exactly right.
And because the story that gets heard the loudest, and most often, is the one of triumph and happy endings, the experiences of the not-pregnant get silenced, shamed or tiptoed around. Not sure how to ask, or what to say, or what to do, or what not to do, these stories go untold and unheard.
Here we believe experiences of pregnancy exist along a spectrum of feeling and experience. That there are as many experiences and stories of not being pregnant as there are people who are not pregnant. That we collectively benefit from hearing a diversity in voices and experiences related to fertility, pregnancy and birth. Because a panoply of stories reminds us that the loudest narrative is not by default the right one. That your story doesn’t have to be happy to be heard.
And now back to your regularly scheduled book reviews.