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The Girls Who Went Away by Ann Fessler
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The Girls Who Went Away (2006)

by Ann Fessler

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534None18,761 (4.14)46
Recently added bymackysmacky, private library, ewillse, bethpresswood, PatienceFortitude, aowenby
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» See also 46 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Not sure why I picked this up in the bookstore- it was on one of the tables, and looked interesting.
I picked it up, leafed through, and then I was hooked- I found it in the library, and basically wolfed it in one afternoon.

A careful, insightful study of what women went through in the 50's and 60's, when getting pregnant out of wedlock was severely stigmatized, and the effects of giving up their children weren't talked about. ( )
  ewillse | Mar 23, 2014 |
Not sure why I picked this up in the bookstore- it was on one of the tables, and looked interesting.
I picked it up, leafed through, and then I was hooked- I found it in the library, and basically wolfed it in one afternoon.

A careful, insightful study of what women went through in the 50's and 60's, when getting pregnant out of wedlock was severely stigmatized, and the effects of giving up their children weren't talked about. ( )
  PatienceFortitude | Mar 6, 2014 |
Not sure why I picked this up in the bookstore- it was on one of the tables, and looked interesting.
I picked it up, leafed through, and then I was hooked- I found it in the library, and basically wolfed it in one afternoon.

A careful, insightful study of what women went through in the 50's and 60's, when getting pregnant out of wedlock was severely stigmatized, and the effects of giving up their children weren't talked about. ( )
  PatienceFortitude | Mar 6, 2014 |
Not sure why I picked this up in the bookstore- it was on one of the tables, and looked interesting.
I picked it up, leafed through, and then I was hooked- I found it in the library, and basically wolfed it in one afternoon.

A careful, insightful study of what women went through in the 50's and 60's, when getting pregnant out of wedlock was severely stigmatized, and the effects of giving up their children weren't talked about. ( )
  PatienceFortitude | Mar 6, 2014 |
Very powerful and moving. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
.Ann Fessler was nearly 56 when she first met her biological mother, who was 75. By then Fessler had already collected more than 100 oral histories for "The Girls Who Went Away....Unmarried girls in the 1950's and 60's may have felt increasingly liberated to have intercourse (Helen Gurley Brown's "Sex and the Single Girl" was published in 1962, identifying a revolution that was well on its way) but the babies they bore were still considered illegitimate, and pregnancy outside of marriage was still a disgrace. A girl who found herself "in trouble" had virtually no means of resisting the forces that conspired either to push her into a speedy marriage or to hustle her out of town to have her baby far from the sight of all who would condemn her. "In one of the strictest forms of banishment," Fessler writes, "high schools and most colleges required a pregnant girl to withdraw immediately.Mothers and fathers went to what now seem ridiculous lengths to conceal their daughters' shame, "disappearing" them before they sent them away to deliver their babies
 
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For my two mother, Hazel and Eleanor
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My mother told me that on my first three birthdays she lit a special candle on my cake for the young woman who had given birth to me.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143038974, Paperback)

In this deeply moving and myth-shattering work, Ann Fessler brings out into the open for the first time the astonishing untold history of the million and a half women who surrendered children for adoption due to enormous family and social pressure in the decades before Roe v. Wade. An adoptee who was herself surrendered during those years and recently made contact with her mother, Ann Fessler brilliantly brings to life the voices of more than a hundred women, as well as the spirit of those times, allowing the women to tell their stories in gripping and intimate detail.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:28 -0400)

This book brings to light the lives of 1.5 million single American women in the years following World War II who, under enormous social and family pressure, were coerced to give up their newborn children. It tells not of wild and carefree sexual liberation, but rather of a devastating double standard that has had punishing long-term effects on these women and on the children they gave up. Single pregnant women were shunned by family and friends, evicted from schools, sent away to maternity homes to have their children alone, and often treated with cold contempt by doctors, nurses, and clergy. The majority of the women interviewed by Fessler, herself an adoptee, have never spoken of their experiences, and most have been haunted by grief and shame their entire adult lives.--From publisher description.… (more)

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