Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today’s Best Women Writers

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 4/15/2014
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Thirty acclaimed writers share their personal birth stories—the extraordinary, the ordinary, the terrifying, the sublime, 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 luminaries.
In Labor Day, you'll read 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."


Nuar Alsadir

Amy Brill

Susan Burton

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum

Lan Samantha Chang

Phoebe Damrosch

Claire Dederer

Jennifer Gilmore

Julia Glass

Arielle Greenberg

Lauren Groff

Eleanor Henderson

Cristina Henriquez

Amy Herzog

Ann Hood

Sarah Jefferis

Heidi Julavits

Mary Beth Keane

Marie Myung-Ok Lee

Edan Lepucki

Heidi Pitlor

Joanna Rakoff

Jane Roper

Danzy Senna

Dani Shapiro

Anna Solomon

Cheryl Strayed

Sarah A. Strickley

Rachel Jamison Webster

Gina Zucker

Author Biography

Eleanor Henderson’s novel Ten Thousand Saints was named one of the Top 10 Books of the Year by The New York Times and was a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. An assistant professor of fiction writing at Ithaca College, she lives in Ithaca, New York, with her husband and two sons. Anna Solomon’s debut novel, The Little Bride, was a Boston Globe bestseller. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, More, One Story, Ploughshares, and elsewhere, and have twice been awarded the Pushcart Prize. She teaches at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and son.

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