Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Birth Mother by Denise Emanuel Clemen

Pregnant from her first sexual encounter, a teenager living in a town of 3,000 Catholics keeps her secret from everyone until six weeks before the baby’s due date. Hustled out of town and hidden in the Iowa countryside within hours of finally confiding in her mother, she concocts a scheme that will allow her to raise her child, but can she win over any of the people who might help her? As her pregnancy and its looming consequences unfold, she realizes that her life of lies and secrets has only just begun.

That's a brief description of my dear friend and fellow writer, Denise Emanuel Clemens' new mini-memoir, published by Shebooks and available today for purchase. I met Denise years and years ago when we both attended a terrific writing workshop at UCLA, taught by the wonderful Barbara Abercrombie. Denise and I became friends and started a small writing group that met faithfully over the years and that finally dwindled away to occasional beer lunches for the two of us. We have every intention of starting up again -- both the beer and the writing group --  and I can only imagine what new writing Denise has in store. Her experience of having a child taken away from her is unique in its telling of the other side of adoption -- the side that we rarely hear in popular literature or press. Birth Mother is luminous and powerful and painful and above all, generous and loving. You have to read it. I command you to buy it. 

Here are the links:

You can also download it through Amazon or on the Nook.

If you don't already, you can read Denise's blog. She's a fine writer, hilarious, moving, wise, and I'm just damn grateful to also call her friend.


  1. Looks very poignant. Hooray that you are back to yoga! Finally a moment to catch up on your blog.

  2. Woot! This is an amazing book! I hope everyone reads it!

  3. Well, thank you! I'm just getting caught up here in blog land and saw this!

  4. Looks amazing. I'll add it to my pile.



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