Synopses & Reviews
In a society in which most women grow up thinking they will become mothers-and in which many women go to great lengths to make that desire a reality -- not having a child is often met with incredulity and scorn. But as the author of this thoughtful and meticulously researched examination of childlessness points out, childless women are part of an ancient and respectable cultural tradition that includes biblical matriarchs, celibate saints, and nineteenth-century social reformers. Revealing the story of her own decision not to have children, Laurie Lisle draws from history, literature, religion and sociology to challenge the stigma attached to the condition of childlessness-and to offer encouragement and support to those women who have made the difficult decision themselves.
Beginning with the difficult inner journey a woman faces before finally deciding or realizing she will not bear children," Without Child" explores the myth of the childless woman's rejection of the maternal instinct. It also explores the childless woman's relationship to mothers and mothering, to her femininity, to men, to achievement, to her body, and to old age. Wide-ranging yet intimate, philosophical, yet clear-sighted, this important book does what no other has done before-presents childlessness in a multifaceted and positive light.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 246-265) and index.