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 an audiobook that transcends the limits of how-to guides and honors the act of childbirth in the 21st 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 hear 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 10-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 hear Labor Day."
©2014 Eleanor Henderson and Anna Solomon (P)2014 Tantor