GHOSTBELLY published by the Feminist Press is Elizabeth Heineman’s personal account of a home birth that goes tragically wrong—ending in a stillbirth—and the harrowing process of grief and questioning that follows. It’s also Heineman’s unexpected tale of the loss of a newborn: before burial, she brings the baby home for overnight stays.
Does this sound unsettling? Of course. We’re not supposed to hold and caress dead bodies. But then again, babies aren’t supposed to die.
In this courageous and deeply intimate memoir, Heineman examines the home-birth and maternal health-care industry, the isolation of midwives, and the scripting of her own grief. With no resolution to sadness, Heineman and her partner learn to live in a new world: a world in which they face each day with the understanding of the fragility of the present.
The Feminist Press promotes voices on the margins of dominant culture and publishes feminist works from around the world, inspiring personal transformation and social justice. We believe that books have the power to shift culture, and create a society free of violence, sexism, homophobia, racism, cis-supremacy, classism, sizeism, ableism and other forms of dehumanization. Our books and programs engage, educate, and entertain.
172 Allen Street, NYC
With Elizabeth Heineman & Aurélie Athan
Lisa Heineman has been at the University of Iowa since 1999 and teaches courses in Germany, Europe, women, and gender. Her past research has examined gender, war, and memory in Germany; welfare states in comparative perspective (Fascist, Communist, and Democratic); and the significance of marital status for women. Out of this research came a book, What Difference Does a Husband Make: Women and Marital Status in Nazi and Postwar Germany (University of California Press, 1999) and many articles, including "The Hour of Women: Memories of Germany's 'Crisis Years' and West German National Identity" American Historical Review (1996).
Aurélie Athan from the Maternal Psychology laboratory and Sexuality, Women, & Gender Project of Teachers College, Columbia University will facilitate Q&A and discussion post reading. Seating at 7pm.