A WOMAN’S BATTLE WITH THE BILLION-DOLLAR BABY BUSINESS Cracked Open is Miriam Zoll's eye-opening account of growing into womanhood with the simultaneous opportunities offered by the U.S. women's movement and new discoveries in reproductive technologies. Influenced by the pervasive media and cultural messages suggesting that science had finally eclipsed Mother Nature, Zoll postponed motherhood until the age of 40. When things don't progress as she had hoped, she enters a world of medical seduction and bioethical quagmires. Desperate to conceive, she surrenders to unproven treatments and procedures only to learn that the odds of becoming a mother through reproductive technologies are far less than she and her generation had been led to believe.
Miriam Zoll is an award-winning writer and an international public health and reproductive rights advocate and educator. She is the founding co-producer of the Ms. Foundation for Women's annual Take Our Daughters (and Sons) To Work Day and a member of the board of Our Bodies Ourselves.
"A scathing attack on the fertility industry in the form of a memoir by a woman whose experience was marked by repeated disappointment and physical and emotional trauma...A must-read for any couple contemplating fertility treatments."
"With journalistic flair, Cracked Open: Liberty, Fertility, and the Pursuit of High-Tech Babies shines a light on the experiences of infertile couples within an industry that, in Zoll's experience, offers inflated hope to desperate would-be parents" The memoir...will empower couples with information and insight about assisted reproductive technology in their quest to become parents. Zoll tells this story as an authority and with brutal honesty- no doubt a conversation starter."
In a finely honed narrative of her personal journey, from grandparents to fertility specialists 'peddling hope,' award-winning writer Zoll examines news stories of exceptions, women pregnant after fifty, and paints the faces behind real statistics. She, too, starts with the idea that she has 'invincible eggs, as she takes readers on a winding, five year path of hormone injections, in vitro fertilization, donor eggs,' and adoption. Speaking frankly of her depression and the debilitating strain her and husband Michael's quest for fertility put on their marriage, Zoll implicates her readers in the 'push-me, pull-me.' She states that she feels 'reduced to [her] own baby-making capacity, ' a common theme with other couples encountered in the book. Zoll has clearly done her research, both for the book and for her personal journey, but it's her craft not the statistics and study citations that make this a compelling narrative. 'Hope,' as Zoll states, 'is a multi-billion dollar business.' Over years, months, tens of thousands of dollars, multiple cities and houses, she joins the 'Fertility Refugees' in an adoptive parenting class. The end, 'rest assured,' will bring 'joy, chaos, and exhaustion.'