Cutting For Stone, by Abraham Verghese
I was in my car driving to Tucson listening to an NPR interview with a Stanford MD, talking about his work in Medical Ethics. He also spoke about the first novel he had just written, entitled Cutting For Stone. It is about twin boys born in Ethiopia. Sounded interesting, so I drove into a Borders and bought the hardback book. Why am I writing about this to an APPPAH publication? It was a story of twin boys joined at birth, with a cluster of losses and pain.
Most readers would skip past their birth narrative with passing interest. I, however, being focused on and aware of the possibility of long-lasting psychological APPPAH Newsletter Spring 2010 Page 9 damage in prenatal and prenatal traumas, was riveted and read on with great interest. Physically separated at birth, growing up with foster parents in a small, rural, Catholic hospital in Ethiopia, their lives unfolded in very different ways. Or so it seemed. I do not want to give the story and its ending away, but reading it from the perspective of their birth and the drama surrounding it turns it into a novel about Birth. Now the paperback is available. The back cover reads: "Moving from Addis Ababa to New York City, Cutting For Stone is an unforgettable story of love and betrayal, medicine and ordinary miracles and two brothers whose fates are forever intertwined." (Are any miracles ordinary?) I enjoyed it and think APPPAH members and supporters would too.
- Submitted by Barbara Findeisen
Maze (2000), available at Netflix
It's a great prenatal experience film with (and written by) Rob Morrow as an artist with pretty intense Tourette's who becomes his friend's birthcoach after she is abandoned by the father before he even knows of the pregnancy. Laura Linney plays a woman who discovers she's pregnant on the same day her boyfriend has decided to go work with Doctors Without Borders for many months. During her the pregnancy she models for her friend, a successful artist with Tourette's who takes on the role of birth coach and overall supporter. He takes her to a bookstore and finds a book for her, which is Thomas Verny's Secret Life Of The Unborn Child! The story is funny, odd, sweet, and kind of perfect all at the same time. It is a great story of real life kind of experiences that turns out pretty well, all things considered. Like life. [Ed. note: It gets some great reviews on Amazon.com; at least two people name it as their all-time favorite little gem of a film.]
- Submitted by Ellynne Skove