I Don't Need a Baby to Be Who I Am
by Joan Brady
In her wonderful, whimsical novel God on a Harley, Joan Brady displayed an innate talent for going straight to the heart of the way women feel. Now she takes us a giant step further, sharing her own deeply personal and ultimately jubilant voyage. This is her message of love, hope, and renewal for every woman who, for whatever reason, has never had a child.
"I am about to take you on a journey. We set sail from the painful, frightened years and emerge into the calm beauty of awakening. Finally, we will cruise gracefully into a celebration of all the female joy that has been kept secret for so long."
One day, after she had turned forty, Joan Brady realized she was on her own. No husband. No kids. She felt like someone had lobbed a hand grenade into her heart. At other people's baby showers, she thought she'd explode. The end of her childbearing years loomed like a tidal wave on the horizon, reminding her that she was not now, and never would be, a mother.
She could sink, or she could swim. In charactersistic style, Joan let herself hit bottom -- only to emerge incredibly joyous, bountiful, and awed by a sense of peace she could never have predicted.
"Women who never actually give birth are all mothers, in some sense, to every child we encounter. We give birth to beauty, love, patience, creativity. We are the role models who support and believe in children's dreams because we support and believe in our own."
Like having a long conversation with a very good friend, this is a letter of rapture and affirmation for all women who have not traveled the path to the delivery room, but have instead discovered a magical route of their own. A rare and wonderful gift that rejoices in being whole, female, and happy, this is Joan Brady's statement of celebration.
- Atria Books, June 2010
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