Susan Ito, an Oakland author, writes movingly about having to abort her son to save her own life in the new anthology, It’s A Boy: Women Writers on Raising Sons.
“This is what it was. A drug, injected into my womb, a drug to stop his heart. To lay him down to sleep, so he wouldn’t feel what would happen the next day, the terrible terrible thing that would happen. Evacuation is what it is called in medical journals.
Evacuees are what the Japanese Americans were called when they were ripped from their homes, tagged like animals, flung into the desert. Evacuated, exiled, thrown away.
I lay on my side pinching the pillowcase. I wondered if he would be startled by the drug’s taste, if it was bitter, or strange, or just different from the salt water he was used to. I prayed that it wouldn’t be noxious, not like the magnesium sulfate, that it wouldn’t hurt. That it would be fast.
John sat next to the bed and held one hand as I pressed the other against my belly. I looked over his shoulder into the dark slice of night between the heavy curtains. Samuel, Samuelito, jumped against my hand once. He leaped through the space into the darkness and then was gone.
The new anthology, put together by Andrea Buchanan, looks at the joy and ambivalence these mothers felt about raising what to them at first seemed like an alien species: boys.
Buchanan is also taking a new approach to selling this book. She has lined up about 50 bloggers who write about parenting to feature her book.
“What I found in the course of promoting my book was that the traditional bookstore reading wasn't such a great way to reach my audience. What mother wants to get out of the house at 7:30 on a Tuesday night? Wait, let me rephrase that: what mother can arrange with her partner or babysitter to take over at the crucial bedtime hour so that she can leave for an evening of having someone else read to her, only to return to home to her still-sobbing children, who have refused to go to sleep without her there? Okay, now you see what I'm talking about.”
These blog book tours are relatively new and New York publishers are just catching on to them. Kevin Smokler, the San Francisco writer, puts together something he calls The Virtual Book Tour, which gets authors before thousands of book lovers.