PUBLISHED IN: 2014.
THE AUTHOR: Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew
THE EDITOR: Joe Coccaro.
THE PUBLISHER: Koehler Books.
SUMMARY: Late one night in a busy St. Paul hospital, a nurse midwife drags Hannah Larson out from behind her reception desk to assist with a birth. When Hannah witnesses that baby tumble into the world, her secure, conventional life gets upended by a fierce desire to deliver babies. So begins Hannah’s journey away from her comfort zone. In a midwifery apprenticeship in New Mexico, she befriends a male midwife, defends a teenage mom, and learns to trust women’s bodies, then moves back to Minnesota to start her own illicit birth practice. Hannah’s need to stay safe proves both an asset and a liability: homebirth isn’t legal in Minnesota in the 1990’s; to deliver healthy babies, Hannah risks jail time, her community’s respect, and her career. The key to unlocking her fear rests in one birth—her own. Hannah, Delivered tells the story of how inexplicable passion, buried strength, and professional skill deliver one woman from fear into a rich and risk-filled life.
THE BACK STORY: My sister is a homebirth midwife in New Mexico. I admire her and her colleagues tremendously. They get to kneel at the entrance to life, which is a mysterious and wondrous place. They also have to face the possibility of death, witness tremendous pain, and open their hearts to the breadth of human relationships. Midwives tend to be earthy and wise in ways few people are anymore. They must have profound faith in women’s bodies. It was this last fact that hooked me. I’m interested in faith in all its forms, and midwives work with an intriguing, countercultural form of faith. I wanted to explore how this faith might work and set it next to traditional, Christian faith to see what the differences are. Maybe I also secretly want to become a midwife but know that’s completely impossible. So I lived out that fantasy by writing Hannah’s story!
WHY THIS TITLE?: Even though the novel contains lots of birth stories, the most important are Hannah’s literal birth and her birth into life as a midwife, faithful to women’s wisdom.
WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Lots of people like this book because they love reading birth stories. What I think makes this book unique, though, is its exploration of faith outside the boundaries of traditional religion.
“Nothing is more important than how we are born. And this engrossing novel takes you right into the heart and soul of this primal experience.” –Christiane Northrup, M.D., ob/gyn physician and author of the New York Times bestseller, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom
“Unflinchingly honest, a gripping novel that explores the emotional and spiritual dimensions of natural birth.” — Jennifer Margulis, author of The Business of Baby
“Hannah, Delivered delivers the goods. Compelling, controversial, thought provoking and beautifully written, I could not put it down.” –Patricia Harman, author of The Midwife of Hope River, The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife’s Memoir, and Arms Wide Open: A Midwife’s Journey
“Hannah, Delivered documents Hannah’s trajectory from midwife wanna-be to solo practitioner with grace, veracity, heart, and passion.” –Peggy Vincent, author of Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife
AUTHOR PROFILE: Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew writes, loves, teaches, and urban homesteads in South Minneapolis. When she’s not chasing her gregarious daughter around the neighborhood or dancing with her partner, she’s doing her best to support the spiritual life of writers. Her books are Swinging on the Garden Gate: A Spiritual Memoir (Skinner House Books), Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir (Skinner House Books), On the Threshold: Home, Hardwood, and Holiness (Westview Press), and the novel, Hannah, Delivered (Koehler Books). You can connect with Elizabeth at www.spiritualmemoir.com and www.elizabethjarrettandrew.com.
AUTHOR COMMENTS: “On the one hand, I feel like I haven’t strayed at all from spiritual memoir. Hannah is really a fictionalized spiritual memoir. I wanted to explore spiritual terrain that was beyond my personal experience. On the other hand, I am floored by how difficult it was to write and publish this book. From conception to print, Hannah took me twelve years. I traveled a steep learning curve. And now that it’s out in the world, I feel far more exposed than I ever did with my memoirs or essays—which says a lot, since Swinging on the Garden Gate is about coming out bisexual. Hannah feels like I’m dreaming out loud. The whole public can analyze my psyche!”
SAMPLE CHAPTER: On Amazon.
Hannah, Delivered can be ordered at your local bookstore or online.
WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & noble, etc.