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Ordinary Insanity

Best Seller
Ordinary Insanity by Sarah Menkedick
Hardcover $28.95
Apr 07, 2020 | ISBN 9781524747770

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  • Apr 07, 2020 | ISBN 9781524747770

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Praise

“Searing…Menkedick is a skilled storyteller and her accounts of women from varied socioeconomic and racial backgrounds drive home how little society has to offer mothers.”
—Susannah Cahalan, New York Times Book Review

“Explosive, keenly observed…. Meticulously constructed, the book interweaves personal narrative and profiles of new mothers with historical research and medical reporting.” 
Library Journal, *starred review*

“Sarah Menkedick’s new book… is about fear, of course, and anxiety, but it’s also about community…. Nuanced and subtle: part research, but also part intimacy through the act of bearing witness.”
Ploughshares

“Menkedick is a superb storyteller, and her writing is filled with remarkable scientific and literary references.”
Publishers Weekly

“A bold and ambitious book about the magnificent, messy transformation that is motherhood, and about the resilience of women. Menkedick explores with intellect and empathy what is expected of ‘good’ mothers, what we expect of ourselves, and the complicated entanglement of the two.”
—Rachel Friedman, author of And Then We Grew Up: On Creativity, Potential, and the Imperfect Art of Adulthood
 
“A stunningly researched, vulnerable and urgent book about the tightrope of motherhood in our broken and prejudiced society. Menkedick reveals the unbearable burden of maternal expectations and how the healthcare system routinely strips women of their agency. You will read these stories of the way mothers are ‘cared’ for in this country with bewilderment, with compassion, with rage, but also with the true belief in the possibility of things becoming different.”
—Lauren Markham, author of The Far Away Brothers
 
“This is an essential book I didn’t even know I needed, that filled in blanks I didn’t even know I had. Its urgent message should be spread far and wide, by anyone who works with mothers, lives with mothers, or plans to be a mother. It will leave you with a greater understanding of Mother, yes, but it will also make you feel less alone in the world.”
—Rachel Louise Snyder, author of No Visible Bruises  
 

Table Of Contents

Introduction ix
 
APRIL
1 The Mother’s Brain 9
2 Postpartum Mood Disorders 25
 
JAMIE
3 The Risk Society 59
4 The Risks Not Taken 87
 
WHITNEY
5 The White Advantage 107
6 Reproductive Rights 137
 
SAMANTHA
7 A Woman’s Role 175
8 Institutionalized 198
 
JACLYN
9 Psychoanalysis 229
10 Maternalism and Momism 253
11 Empowerment 270
 
MARNA
12 Welfare 291
13 Solidarity 315
 
SONIA
14 The Fruitful Darkness 337
 
Acknowledgments 363
Notes 367
Index 389

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