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Laurie Lisle
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Without Child: Challenging the Stigma of Childlessness

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  39 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Without Child brings scope and depth to a subject that has long been misunderstood. Weaving rich materials from history, literature, religion, and sociology with Laurie Lisle's own and other personal stories, this groundbreaking book does what no other has done before—presents childlessness in a multifaceted and positive light.
Most women grow up thinking they will become m
Published 2008 (first published 1996)
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Apr 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book got off to a boring start(mostly information about the author and how she came to the realization that she wasn't going to have children). But after that, especially with her historical research on childless women (and childless marriages) it gets really interesting. She discusses probably the biggest issue that childless people struggle with (or in my case, the biggest issue that people bring up when they're quizzing me on why I don't want children) - how are you going to make a diffe ...more
Kristie J.
I was very happy to see a comprehensive book about the topic of choosing to be married and not have children. The author approached the topic thoroughly, from a historical perspective, and I appreciated how she included her own feelings about being childfree through her 20's to her 50's. She concluded that there are many "nulliparas", i.e. women who have never had children, who use their childfree freedom to contribute to society and their own personal development and end up happy and contented ...more
Jul 24, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
While this book is obviously well-researched (it reads like a PhD dissertation), it just didn’t deliver for me personally. Lisle focused way too much on the fact that non-mothers are creative without having to create children. That’s a wonderful point, but it doesn’t really relate to those of us who aren’t artists or writers like the people she references (constantly) throughout the book. What about those of us who aren’t creative in the traditional sense? Where does that leave us? In hopes of f ...more
Nov 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a quick non-fiction reader and this one was a bit slow going for me. The author is definitely very thoughtful with her word choices and phrasing and tries to make every sentence count. Parts of it felt cumbersome to me and I felt like I was plodding through it. But overall, the amount of research and thought she put into this book over the course of her personal life experience and while writing it is staggering to me. Her thoughts and ideas were thought-provoking for me and gave me som ...more
Jan 11, 2016 marked it as gave-up-on  ·  review of another edition
The book is academic in tone. It seemed that the emphasis of book is that one chooses "no children" so that an artistic life or extraordinary life can be pursued. This does not resonate for me. I am like most people, I have an average life. It seems the only unordinary aspect of my life is that I am married with no children. I'm not sure what I was looking for in this reading book but I abandoned the book midway not finding it. Therefore I'm not a fair judge of this book's merits.
Feb 19, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nullipara
I would have liked to hear more about women in general and less woe-is-me on a personal level from Ms. Lisle, but then I suppose the book would only have been half as long. Interesting and informative, but it dragged quite a bit and I did a lot of skimming when she started rehashing her personal saga.
Jan 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childfree
I read this back in the days when I was undecided about having children. It was one of many books that helped me decide who I wanted to be when I grew up. Laurie examines the topic from so many angles and opens your mind to the challenges and possibilities of either decision.
Carol Ascher
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This honest and carefully considered book moves between personal reflections and research to offer support to women who choose not to have children.
Mar 11, 2008 rated it did not like it
actually did not finish this. subject matter was interesting, and appeared to be well-researched, but it was incredibly dull
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Laurie Lisle began her professional life as a journalist then became a biographer before writing about more personal matters in her latest books.

She lives in the village of Sharon, Connecticut, along with her husband, artist Robert Kipniss. When she is not writing or reading, she is hiking or working in her flower garden.

Laurie wrote the first biographies of two women artists, Georgia O'Keeffe
More about Laurie Lisle...