On Longing and Transformation
Published by: Coffee House Press
Imprint: Coffee House Press
160 Pages, 5.00 x 7.75 in
- Published: May 2023
A meditation on in vitro fertilization that expands and complicates the stories we tell about pregnancy.
Medical interventions become an exercise in patience, desire, and delirium in this intimate account of bodily transformation and disruption. In candid, graceful prose, Isabel Zapata gives voice to the strangeness and complexities of conception and motherhood that are rarely discussed publicly. Zapata frankly addresses the misogyny she experienced during fertility treatments, explores the force of grief in imagining possible futures, and confronts the societal expectations around maternity. In the tradition of Rivka Galchen’s Little Labors and Sarah Manguso’s Ongoingness, In Vitro draws from diary and essay forms to create a new kind of literary companion and open up space for nuanced conversations about pregnancy.
TODAY, “Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2023”
“In this essay-like collection, Zapata examines in vitro fertilization and the narratives that drive societal expectations and pressures in conception and pregnancy. Unveiling a nuanced view of motherhood and fertility treatment, In Vitro will illuminate aspects of pregnancy not often discussed.” —Lupita Aquino, TODAY
“From its first sentences, I was riveted to In Vitro. Isabel Zapata has an effortlessly engaging style, at once casual and thrillingly deep. Her skill at playing with language, chronology, and genre will leave her readers feeling spellbound, affirmed, and, most of all, free. This is a profoundly liberatory book.” —Emily Gould
“Isabel Zapata has created an elegant and brave poetics of the body. This is transformative literature that gives birth to a new language capable of expanding what it means to mother a child, or an idea, or a society.” —Terry Tempest Williams
Praise for Isabel Zapata
“Isabel Zapata writes with a fluidity that can only come from wisdom. Sometimes it feels like we’re listening to her speak more than reading her on the page; it even feels like we can speak back.” —Alejandro Zambra