March 2011 News

  • New review of Human Rights Watch: World Report 2011

    New review of Human Rights Watch: World Report 2011

    March 30, 2011

    The idea of human rights claims is that all human beings possess the same basic rights, no matter what their differences are, and that these rights put us in a reciprocal relationship of obligation to one another. Since human rights are the common birthright of every human being, respect is owed to all. Yet despite the widespread nature of this ideal, human rights are still widely denied, evaded, or ignored around the world.

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  • The Star: Meeting legendary midwife Ina May Gaskin

    The Star: Meeting legendary midwife Ina May Gaskin

    March 30, 2011

    Of the first 2,200 babies she and her partners delivered, only a dozen required forceps or a vacuum. At a time when one quarter of American babies arrived through surgery, they welcomed 186 babies naturally before having to rush to the hospital for their first caesarean. Her tools were kindness, snacks, outdoor walks, laughter, reassuring words, maybe a little foreplay from a husband to stimulate some oxytocin, the love-hormone that stimulates “rushes,” Gaskin’s word for contractions. Women, she proved, were not cursed to painful, clinical labours. Delivering a baby could be spiritual and pleasurable.

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  • Interview with Ina May Gaskin at babble.com

    Interview with Ina May Gaskin at babble.com

    March 30, 2011

    We all need to listen to Ina May. One day this woman will be on a postage stamp.

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  • NOW Toronto: Midwifery is the world’s oldest profession

    NOW Toronto: Midwifery is the world’s oldest profession

    March 24, 2011

    For the record, midwifery, not prostitution, is the world’s oldest profession. You’d think, then, that the ancient art of assisting at birth could get some respect. But, especially in the United States, the rights of birthing mothers to make decisions about their own bodies and have access to midwives continue to be trampled by the medical establishment . . . the Manifesta itself, a call for a return to the age-old knowledge women have always had about our bodies and a movement to support it, is required reading.

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  • New review of Mischa Merz’s The Sweetest Thing

    New review of Mischa Merz’s The Sweetest Thing

    March 24, 2011

    "The Sweetest Thing: A Boxer’s Memoir (Seven Stories Press, 2011) is a highly readable chronicle of [Merz's] immersion, at the age of forty-five, into real, gritty, fierce competition. . . . This is a rare journey inside the packed gym locker of a true fighter’s brain, a journalist who can take you with her on a wild and brave ride. Fasten your seatbelts – Mischa Merz is a boxer to watch. And more women are coming." -- Binnie Klein, author of Blows to the Head: How Boxing Changed My Mind

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  • Ina May interview at Public Radio Exchange (PRX)

    Ina May interview at Public Radio Exchange (PRX)

    March 24, 2011

    From PRX.org: Ina May Gaskin has practiced for nearly forty years at The Farm Midwifery Center in Summertown, Tenn, which she founded in 1971. The center is noted for its low rates of intervention, morbidity and mortality. She is the only midwife for whom an obstetric maneuver has been named (the Gaskin maneuver).

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  • Chris Howard reveals the inspiration for his new book, “Tea of Ulaanbaatar”

    Chris Howard reveals the inspiration for his new book, “Tea of Ulaanbaatar”

    March 24, 2011

    For Christopher Howard, perhaps life's kindest gesture came from a Third World parasite. A debilitating, intestine-twisting infection forced the Peace Corps volunteer to flee Mongolia for recovery back in the States. That change of plans set off an unmapped string of circumstances - jobs, classes, military - that Howard intertwined with steady fiction-writing. After 14 years of scratching by, the native Peorian's first novel will be published by a New York printing house. "Tea of Ulaanbaatar," a trippy criticism of war with his Mongolian experiences as a background, comes out in May.

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  • “Powering Down” on Japan’s energy use in the wake of the tsunami

    “Powering Down” on Japan’s energy use in the wake of the tsunami

    March 23, 2011

    Motoyuki Shibata, noted translator of American literature and a University of Tokyo professor, emailed me, "I don't know how much longer we can stay calm. Since the nuclear plants are down and we are not going to have the amount of electricity necessary for the way of life we have been used to, we need to figure out a drastically new way of living and that's easier said than done."

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  • Birth Matters gets starred review in Publishers Weekly

    Birth Matters gets starred review in Publishers Weekly

    March 18, 2011

    Internationally recognized midwife and maternity advocate Gaskin here takes a new look at birth throughout history and as it is accomplished today, making another scientifically supported claim for birth as a natural process. In light of the current trend of rising maternal mortality rates combined with escalating maternity care costs per capita, Gaskin pleads for "greater involvement of women in the formulation of maternity care policy and in the education of young women and men about birth." Famous for founding The Farm in Tennessee (1971), where natural birth surrounded by friends and family is the norm and not the exception, and for her influential book Spiritual Midwifery, Gaskin, as the foremost authority on homebirth, is important to many subject specialists. Her new title elegantly covers the normalcy and power of birth, includes birth stories, and makes sound arguments for more support and less intervention. An essential acquisition. —Publishers Weekly

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  • Barbara Shoup reviews Sad Stories of the Death of Kings

    Barbara Shoup reviews Sad Stories of the Death of Kings

    March 17, 2011

    Sad Stories of the Death of Kings brought [my childhood memories of Chicago] back to me—and more. “Fruit boots,” for example. “Style of shoe popular in the 1950’s and 60’s, ankle-high suede shoes with crepe rubber soles conventionally known as desert boots. English Mods embraced desert boots made by Clarks and their popularity spread to the U.S. where they were labeled “fruit boots” because of their perceived popularity with perceived homosexuals.” (Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English.) “There they are,” Jimmy said. “I told you she’d be here.” Standing halfway down the block were two girls, both wearing black scarves around their heads, navy blue pea coats, short black skirts with black tights and black fruit boots. One of them was smoking a cigarette. “Bad Girls,” said Roy. “I hope so,” said Jimmy Boyle. I wasn’t a bad girl. I was too scared. But I knew those girls, and Barry Gifford got them just right. He got everything right. —Award-winning YA author Barbara Shoup

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Everytime a Knot is Undone, a God is Released by Barbara Chase-Riboud

Everytime a Knot is Undone, a God is Released

by Barbara Chase-Riboud

Giveaway ends August 31, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Crocodiles by Youssef Rakha

The Crocodiles

by Youssef Rakha

Giveaway ends September 16, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win