Today I’m celebrating the publication of a newbook about what it means to be childless. The book is Avalanche: A Love story by Julia Leigh.
One of my guiding principles is that we honour each other’s stories. All our stories are personal, and they are also universal.
Our paths are different, and when we do the work we become the hero of our own story and live a fulfilling life.
To date I’ve published thirty Inspirational Stories here and, whilst not all of them resonate with me, I wouldn’t dream of challenging anyone’s story of what they went through. Because it’s their truth and I honour their right to tell it their way.
So when one of our childless ‘tribe’ publishes a book and finds her story savaged by no other than the New York Times, and Pamela Tsigdinos asks for volunteers to support her. I’m in.
Here’s some background to Avalanche.
‘At the age of thirty-eight, acclaimed novelist Julia Leigh made her first visit to the IVF clinic, full of optimism. So started a long and costly journey of nightly injections, blood tests, surgeries and rituals.
Writing in the immediate aftermath of her decision to stop treatment, Leigh lays bare the truths of her experience: the highs of hope and the depths of disappointment, the grip of yearning and desire, the toll on her relationships, and the unexpected graces and moments of black humour. Along the way she navigates the science of IVF, copes with the impact of treatment, and reconciles the seductive promises of the worldwide multi- billion-dollar IVF industry with the reality.
Avalanche is the book that has finally been written on IVF treatment: a courageous, compelling and ultimately wise account of a profoundly important and widespread experience. At the heart of this work is an exploration of who and how we love. It is a story we can all relate to – about the dreams we have for ourselves, our loves, and our relationships.’
And some praise from others:
‘One of the first intelligent, personal accounts of the daily business of IVF’ Lara Feigel, The Guardian
‘Avalanche is gut wrenchingly good. I read it in one intense sitting.’ Cathy Rentzenbrink author of The Last Act of Love
‘An astonishing and unflinching personal account of an IVF journey – fierce, touching and redemptive.’ Dame Jane Campion
‘Avalanche examines unspeakable things and, by speaking of them honestly and clearly, renders them quietly luminous and bright.’ Sydney Morning Herald
Unfortunately the book isn’t out in the UK yet so I haven’t been able to read it. So instead, I asked Julia some questions and here are her answers. And below are links to blogs where you can read what others think about Avalanche.