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A Love Story

Julia Leigh (Author)


An intensely personal narrative of loss, hope, and longing for a child.

In this brave and lucid account, Julia Leigh broaches a challenging life event often left undiscussed: how the struggle to have a child can take an agonizing toll. Leigh’s experience at the vanguard of medical science is acutely rendered, physically and emotionally, transmitting what it feels like to so desperately wish for a child while knowing that the odds are stacked against you. From the daily shots she puts herself through at home, to hopes raised and dashed, and finally to the decision to stop treatment, Avalanche bears witness to Leigh’s raw desire, suffering, strength, and, in the end, transformation—a shift to a different kind of love. The reader looks behind the scenes of a clinic and discovers how things really work: reality is a far cry from the slick marketing of the billion-dollar infertility industry. As for so many women, Leigh’s treatment failed, but her ghost child lingers in memory.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • August 2016
  • ISBN 978-0-393-29276-3
  • 5.6 × 8.4 in / 144 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth and the European Union.

Endorsements & Reviews

“It is one of the first intelligent, personal accounts of the daily business of IVF, and as such will surely be a useful (albeit rather demoralising) resource for other women. She describes the grueling rounds of injections, blood tests and scans, and the bloating and physical depletion that result. However, it’s a book that rightly has wider ambitions, because these insistent, lengthy attempts to become pregnant raise more elemental questions about what it means to desire a child.” — The Guardian

“With searing intelligence and unflinching emotional clarity, Julia Leigh lays bare the exacting nature of desire. Avalanche is consummately ravishing.” — Tracy K. Smith, author of Ordinary Light

“An astonishing and unfliching personal account of an IVF journey--fiece, touching and redemptive.” — Jane Campion

“Julia Leigh writes beautifully and honestly and has a rare gift for bringing the reading along as if a trusted friend. Her stories of love and loss, friendship and sorrow make Avalanche entirely relatable.” — Amy Richard, author of Opting In: Having a Child Without Losing Yourself

“Leigh's a star and this account of IVF has all her brilliant luminosity.” — Chloe Hooper, author of and The Engagement

“Deeply personal, insightful and raw—Julia Leigh's story of her desire for a baby is beautifully told. I didn't want to put this brave book down for a second.” — Sofie Laguna, author of The Eye of the Sheep

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