In this exceptional collection of original essays, twenty-five celebrated writers share one of their most intimate and life-changing experiences: giving birth. Moving, uniquely honest, and transformative, Great Expectations takes the reader on an emotional and physical journey like no other: Lynn Coady relates the painful memory of her teenage pregnancy and the anguish of having to give up her newborn for adoption; Peter Behrens expresses a father’s feeling of utter helplessness and incomparable joy during the birth of his first child; Christy Ann Conlin describes pregnancy and birth at age forty; Afua Cooper reflects upon the immigrant’s experience of three pregnancies and childbirths in a new land with foreign, and evolving, customs; Anne Fleming contemplates her partner’s artificial insemination and the birth of a beautiful girl; and Jaclyn Moriarty transcribes her grandmother’s and her mother’s birth stories, along with her own, to create a tender oral history, spanning three generations.
Lisa Moore is the acclaimed author of the novels Caught, February, and Alligator. Caught was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize and is now a major CBC television series starring Allan Hawco. February won CBC’s Canada Reads competition, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and was named a New Yorker Best Book of the Year and a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book. Alligator was a finalist for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Canada and the Caribbean region), and was a national bestseller. Her story collection Open was a finalist for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize and a national bestseller. Her most recent work is a collection of short stories called Something for Everyone. Lisa lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Dede Crane is the critically acclaimed author of the novel Sympathy, and the the teen novel, The 25 Pains of Kennedy Baines. She is the co-editor of Great Expectations: Twenty-Four True Stories about Childbirth. Her stories have been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards and published in numerous literary journals. Dede is a former professional ballet dancer, teacher and choreographer. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with her husband, writer Bill Gaston, and their four children.
“As suits such a multi-faceted subject, this collection is varied in tone, narrative, and authorship...All the writers are award winning authors so the prose is always very good, deftly observant, forming sharp, poignant, comic, succinct dramas . . . Each story can stand alone as an engrossing read. Together they create a lovely sense of continuum.” — Newfoundland Quarterly
“Profoundly moving.” — Globe and Mail
“Some of Canada's best writers . . . delve into their experiences of childbirth and bare their souls in sharing their memories . . . [Great Expectations] demands the best that each writer has to give. These writers deliver.” — Atlantic Books Today
“This collection of essays about childbirth is dedicated to parents of the past, present, and future. No matter which you are, you'll find something to enjoy in these often humorous and dramatic personal stories. The contributors are a who's who of CanLit.” — Best Health