Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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9781609809485

Translated by Tanya Leslie

In 1963, Annie Ernaux, 23 and unattached, realizes she is pregnant. Shame arises in her like a plague: Understanding that her pregnancy will mark her and her family as social failures, she knows she cannot keep that child.

This is the story, written forty years later, of a trauma Ernaux never overcame. In a France where abortion was illegal, she attempted, in vain, to self-administer the abortion with a knitting needle. Fearful and desperate, she finally located an abortionist, and ends up in a hospital emergency ward where she nearly dies.

In Happening, Ernaux sifts through her memories and her journal entries dating from those days. Clearly, cleanly, she gleans the meanings of her experience.

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9781609809485

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I have no idea which words will come to me. I have no idea where my writing will take me. I would like to stall this moment and remain in a state of expectancy. Maybe I’m afraid that the act of writing will shatter this vision, just like sexual fantasies fade as soon as we have climaxed.

“With the dispassion and efficiency of a military strategist, [Ernaux] ambushes her past, prying it from its refuge in nostalgia and oblivion and holding it up naked for all to see . . . a harrowing account . . . superbly translated.”

“Ernaux . . . writes with clear, controlled precision that is as vivid as it is devastating to read, and which connects the pain and indignity of her experience to class, power and patriarchy.”

“Although the events Ernaux describes so explicitly occurred more than 50 years ago, they retain their horrifying immediacy, and should act as a reminder that her lack of options is the reality for many women worldwide, with access to legal abortion severely restricted or denied. Universal, primeval and courageous, Happening is a fiercely dislocating, profoundly relevant work—as much of art as of human experience. It should be compulsory reading.”

“Ernaux’s work is important. Not just because of her subject matter, but because of the way she hands it over: the subtle contradictions; her dispassionate stoicism, mixed with savagery; her detailed telling, mixed with spare, fragmented text. . . These are not things we vote for. These are not things we judge. These are things that happen. Are happening.”

“An important, resonant work.”

“Ernaux speaks the truth about which women usually keep silent . . . [Happening is] shameless, but overwhelming in its honest.”

“[Ernaux's] style is dense and purified. They story she tells loses its strictly intimate character and becomes the echo of an age.”

Happening contains something absolutely extraordinary, something that can only happen in Ernaux's writing . . . shattering.”

“[M]agnificent . . . Annie Ernaux continues her anatomy of exlclusion and shame.”

blog — May 03

Free eBook: The New Handbook for a Post-Roe America

A letter from Robin Marty, activist and author of The New Handbook for a Post-Roe America, on the occasion of the Texas Governor Greg Abbott's decision to sign TX Senate Bill 4, in which abortion is criminalized after 6 weeks: 

According to a newly enacted Texas law, abortion is now essentially illegal in the state, and anyone who assists someone in getting one can be accused of “aiding and abetting.” Even worse, this law can be enforced by any random person claiming to know that this “crime” has occurred.
 
This is exactly the scenario we always feared: strangers deputized as an anti-abortion crime watch, creating a massive surveillance system to ensure every pregnant person gives birth to a live child — or goes to jail if they do not. Today, it’s Texas. Tomorrow it will be the next red state, and then the one after that.
 
Nothing has changed about the procedure or its safety — all that has changed is on August 31st, abortion was legal in Texas and today it is not. Does that seem like justice to you? If not, then grab a book and get ready to fight.

The end of Roe is coming. How will you prepare?

The New Handbook for a Post-Roe America is a comprehensive and user-friendly manual for understanding and preparing for the looming changes to reproductive rights law, and getting the health care you need — by any means necessary. Activist and writer Robin Marty guides readers through various worst-case scenarios of a post-Roe America, and offers ways to fight back, including: how to acquire financial support, how to use existing networks and create new ones, and how to, when required, work outside existing legal systems. She details how to plan for your own emergencies, how to start organizing now, what to know about self-managed abortion care with pills and/or herbs, and how to avoid surveillance. The only guidebook of its kind, The New Handbook for a Post-Roe America includes new chapters that cover the needs and tools available for pregnant people across the country.

This second edition features extensively updated information on abortion legality and access in the United States, and approximately one hundred pages of new content, covering such topics as independent alternatives to Planned Parenthood, "auntie networks," taxpayer-funded abortions, and using social media wisely in the age of surveillance.

Inextricably connected to issues of autonomy, privacy, and sexuality, the abortion debate remains home base for the culture wars in America. Yet, there is more common ground than meets the eye in favor of choice. Sarah Erdreich’s Generation Roe delves into phenomena such as "abortion-recovery counseling," "crisis pregnancy centers," and the infamous anti-choice "black children are an endangered species" billboards. It tells the stories of those who risk their lives to pursue careers in this stigmatized field. And it outlines the outrageous legislative battles that are being waged against abortion rights all over the country. With an inspiring spirit and a forward-looking approach, Erdreich holds abortion up, unabashedly, as a moral and fundamental human right. 

Now a major motion picture directed by Audrey Diwan

Translated by Tanya Leslie

In 1963, Annie Ernaux, 23 and unattached, realizes she is pregnant. Shame arises in her like a plague: Understanding that her pregnancy will mark her and her family as social failures, she knows she cannot keep that child.

This is the story, written forty years later, of a trauma Ernaux never overcame. In a France where abortion was illegal, she attempted, in vain, to self-administer the abortion with a knitting needle. Fearful and desperate, she finally located an abortionist, and ends up in a hospital emergency ward where she nearly dies.

In Happening, Ernaux sifts through her memories and her journal entries dating from those days. Clearly, cleanly, she gleans the meanings of her experience.

 Edited by Barbara Seaman and Laura Eldridge

Science journalist Barbara Seaman (1935-2008) spent the last forty years of her life on the front lines as a women's health advocate. Throughout her career, she was also a tireless supporter of other women's voices. Here she brings together an essential collection of essays, interviews, and commentary by leading activists, writers, doctors, and sociologists on topics ranging across reproductive rights, sex and orgasm, activism, motherhood and birth control. The more than two hundred contributors include Jennifer Baumgardner, Susan Brownmiller, Phyllis Chesler, Angela Davis, Barbara Ehrenreich, Germaine Greer, Shulamith Firestone, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Erica Jong, Molly Haskell, Shere Hite, Susie Orbach, Judith Rossner, Alix Kates Shulman, Gloria Steinem, Sojourner Truth, Rebecca Walker, Naomi Wolf, and many others.

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The author of some twenty works of fiction and memoir, ANNIE ERNAUX is considered by many to be France’s most important literary voice. She won the Prix Renaudot for A Man's Place and the Marguerite Yourcenar Prize for her body of work. More recently she received the International Strega Prize, the Prix Formentor, the French-American Translation Prize, and the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation for The Years, which was also shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize. Her other works include Exteriors, A Girl's Story, A Woman's Story, The Possession, Simple Passion, HappeningI Remain in DarknessShameA Frozen Woman, and A Man's Place