Friday, February 12, 2010

What is Randi Hutter Epstein reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Randi Hutter Epstein, author of Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank.

Her entry begins:
I hadn’t realized that everything I was reading was so depressing—well written but on the downer side—so I had to pick up a Bill Bryson. Any of them would do and I keep them scattered around the house, but when I really need a laugh, I grab Notes from a Small Island, one of his earlier books (before he walked the Adirondack trail). It’s about life in England circa 1973.

I’ve read it about a dozen times, so now I don’t do front to back, I just open to any page and start reading. Last night, I was in bed giggling, tears running down my face—and being super annoying to my husband who is in the middle of Andrew Ross Sorkin’s Too Big To Fail. (He says it’s a great read, but it’s not a book that gets you belly laughing.)

Bryson knows how to take the every-day annoying things, the stuff that gets most of us frustrated and turn it into something quite amusing. He also finds humor in things I never...[read on]
Randi Hutter Epstein, MD, is a medical journalist who has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Daily Telegraph, and several national magazines.

Among the early praise for Get Me Out:
[P]hysician and medical journalist Randi Hutter Epstein is here to tell us in "Get Me Out," her engrossing survey of the history of childbirth, that even with all of today's whiz-bang technology, "we are still in the dark about so many things that go into making babies." Writing that pregnancy has always been "a wonderful blend of custom and science," Epstein takes us on a delightful romp through past guides that are filled with a whole lot of do-this-but-avoid-that advice.
--Stephen Lowman, Washington Post

[A] sharp, sassy history of childbirth.... The author’s engaging sarcasm, evident even in a caption of an illustration of an absurd obstetric contraption—'Nineteenth-century Italian do-it-yourself forceps. The fad never took off'—lends this chronicle a welcome punch and vitality often absent from medical histories. Roll over, Dr. Lamaze, and make room for Epstein’s eyebrow-raising history.
--Kirkus Reviews
Learn more about Get Me Out at the publisher's website, and visit Randi Hutter Epstein's Psychology Today blog, Birth, Babies, and Beyond. Read an excerpt from Get Me Out and listen to the NPR story about the book.

Writers Read: Randi Hutter Epstein.

--Marshal Zeringue