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The Art of Waiting

Nonfiction: Autobiography & Memoir
Unabridged   8.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 09/06/2016

Publishers Weekly Best Book
Finalist PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay

The Art of Waiting

On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781681683225
Digital Download ISBN:9781681683232


A brilliant exploration of the natural, medical, psychological, and political facets of fertility. In The Art of Waiting, Belle Boggs deftly distills her time of waiting into an expansive contemplation of fertility, choice, and the many possible roads to making a life and making a family.

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Product Description

When Belle Boggs' "The Art of Waiting" was published in Orion in 2012, it went viral, leading to republication in Harper's Magazine and an interview on NPR's The Diane Rehm Show.

In that heartbreaking essay, Boggs eloquently recounts her realization that she might never be able to conceive. She searches the apparently fertile world around her—the emergence of thirteen-year cicadas, the birth of eaglets near her rural home, and an unusual gorilla pregnancy at a local zoo—for signs that she is not alone. Boggs also explores other aspects of fertility and infertility: the way longing for a child plays out in the classic Coen brothers film Raising Arizona; the depiction of childlessness in literature, from Macbeth to Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; the financial and legal complications that accompany alternative means of family making; the private and public expressions of iconic writers grappling with motherhood and fertility. She reports, with great empathy, complex stories of couples who adopted domestically and from overseas, LGBT couples considering assisted reproduction and surrogacy, and women and men reflecting on childless or child-free lives.


"Boggs writes with considerable heart and engagement about the decisions that are so tough for so many. . . . A story well-told and deeply felt.”―Kirkus, starred review

“Touch[es] on universal themes of hope, loss, and identity. . . . Boggs’s contemplative view of waiting as a mentally active practice offers comfort to those who cannot get exactly what they need even by the hardest of wishing.”―Publishers Weekly

"Deeply thoughtful, beautiful, and illuminating.”—Booklist

“A truly amazing and enlightening and informative memoir.”—The Charlotte Observer

"Eloquent and insightful, Boggs never descends to self-pity, instead writing with empathy, compassion, and occasional humor. . . . All readers will appreciate the engaging prose and thought-provoking information.” ―Library Journal

"Ms. Boggs has done something quite lovely and laudable with The Art of Waiting: She's given a cold, clinical topic some much-needed warmth and soul. The miracle of life, you might even say." ―The New York Times

Author Bio

Belle Boggs is the author of Mattaponi Queen. Her stories and essays have appeared in The Paris Review, Ecotone, Slate, and many other publications. She teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University.