Poor Your Soul
Here's the story: in 2008, at age twenty-eight, I accidentally got pregnant, despite taking birth control pills and never missing a dose. (I'm that 1 percent.) It wasn't easy, I wasn't happy about it, but I embraced it. And even though we'd only known each other for just three months, my boyfriend Andrew and I got engaged. Five months later, during the ultrasound that was to predict the sex of our baby, doctors found instead that our child had a constellation of birth defects and no chance of survival outside my womb. I was given three choices: terminate the pregnancy, induce delivery, or do nothing and inevitably miscarry. Poor Your Soul simultaneously traces my mother's immigration from Poland at the age of twenty-eight, the adoption of her son Julian, his tragic death, and her reaction to the grief that followed. Both our stories examine how woman copes with the inevitable but unexpected losses a woman faces in the search for her identity.
Why do I want you to read this book? Because I strongly believe that it is important that we don't generalize the situations or turn away from stories of the lives of women who choose--or are forced to--have an abortion, and I believe my story will add a much needed and meaningful dimension to our understanding of a woman's sexuality. This is a story less about abortion; Poor Your Soul is a memoir the uterus and the American Dream.
They believed they would live forever. So begins the haunting account of the women of Camp Etna—an otherworldly community in the woods of Maine that has, since 1876, played host to generations of Spiritualists and mediums dedicated to preserving the links between the mortal realm and the afterlife. Beginning her narrative in 1848 with two sisters who claimed they could speak to the dead, Ptacin reveals how Spiritualism first blossomed into a national practice during the Civil War, yet continues—even thrives—to this very day. Immersing herself in this community and its practices—from ghost hunting to releasing trapped spirits to water witching— Ptacin sheds new light on our ongoing struggle with faith, uncertainty, and mortality. Blending memoir, ethnography, and investigative reportage, The In-Betweens offers a vital portrait of Camp Etna and its enduring hold on a modern culture that remains as starved for a deeper sense of connection and otherworldliness as ever.
Good Bye To All That Book: Writers on Loving New York
In this classic collection, thirty writers share their own stories of loving and leaving New York, capturing the mesmerizing allure the city has always had for writers, poets, and wandering spirits. Their essays often begin as love stories do, with the passion of something newly discovered: the crush of subway crowds, the streets filled with manic energy, and the sudden, unblinking certainty that this is the only place on Earth where one can become exactly who she is meant to be.
They also share the grief that comes like a gut-punch, when the grand metropolis loses its magic and the pressures of New York's frenetic life wear thin for even the most dedicated dwellers. As friends move away, rents soar, and love—still—remains just out of reach, each writer's goodbye is singular and universal, just like New York itself.
Get Out of My Crotch: Twenty-One Writers Respond to America's War on Women's Rights and Reproductive Health
We are witnessing the patriarchy’s last gasp, and it’s not going down without a fight. Using legislation, language, and women’s own silence, it seeks to return us to a time when choice and self-determination were not options.
In this collection, twenty-one fearless writers examine reproductive rights, access to health care, violence against women, and the rise of rape apologists in the twenty-first-century United States. Illuminating intersections of gender, class, and race, these stories speak to the challenges women routinely face, the attempts to undermine their rights, and the deliberate, systemic erosion of their agency and existence as equals.
It’s time to revisit what’s at stake, what could still be lost, and why we must continually fight for equality and freedom for all.