Synopses & Reviews
Did you know that breast milk contains substances similar to cannabis? Or that it's sold on the Internet for 262 times the price of oil? Feted and fetishized, the breast is an evolutionary masterpiece. But in the modern world, the breast is changing. Breasts are getting bigger, arriving earlier, and attracting newfangled chemicals. Increasingly, the odds are stacked against us in the struggle with breast cancer, even among men. What makes breasts so mercurial—and so vulnerable?
In this informative and highly entertaining account, intrepid science reporter Florence Williams sets out to uncover the latest scientific findings from the fields of anthropology, biology, and medicine. Her investigation follows the life cycle of the breast from puberty to pregnancy to menopause, taking her from a plastic surgeon's office where she learns about the importance of cup size in Texas to the laboratory where she discovers the presence of environmental toxins in her own breast milk. The result is a fascinating exploration of where breasts came from, where they have ended up, and what we can do to save them.
"[A] remarkably informative and compellingwork of discovery." ---Booklist Starred Review
An engaging narrative about an incredible, life-giving organ and its imperiled modern fate.
About the Author
Florence Williams is a visiting scholar at the University of Colorado's Journalism School and a contributing editor at Outside magazine. She also works as a freelance writer for the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, Mother Jones, High Country News, National Geographic Traveler, Runner's World, Skiing, Bicycling, and numerous other publications. Her work often focuses on the environment, health, and science. She has received many awards, including six magazine awards from the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the John Hersey Prize at Yale. Kate Reading has been a freelance narrator for over twenty years. She received an Audie Award for Bellwether by Connie Willis and for Breasts by Florence Williams; an Audie nomination for The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, recorded with her husband, Michael Kramer; and an Audie nomination for Blow Fly by Patricia Cornwell. She has also received numerous Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, which has named her Narrator of the Year and, for two years running, Best Voice in Science Fiction and Fantasy for her narration of Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series. As Jennifer Mendenhall, she has worked as a stage actor in the Washington, D.C., area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, the Washington Theatre Lobby Awards, and the Carbonell Awards in Florida. She and her husband live in Hyattsville, Maryland, with their two children.