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Letter to a Child Never Born

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  13,853 ratings  ·  990 reviews
Published by Rizzoli in 1975, Letter to a Child Never Born was quickly translated and sold in twenty-seven countries worldwide, becoming an extraordinary success. It is the tragic monologue of a woman speaking with the child she carries in her womb. This letter confronts the burning theme of abortion, and the meaning of life, by asking difficult questions: Is it fair to im ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published September 1st 1982 by Pocket (first published 1975)
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Rahatil Rahat Please consider buying a paperback copy of this book, if you are in Bangladesh. The latest copy is published from Sanghati Publications (সংহতি প্রকাশন…morePlease consider buying a paperback copy of this book, if you are in Bangladesh. The latest copy is published from Sanghati Publications (সংহতি প্রকাশনী) and costs BDT 90 only.

Address: Rose View Plaza, 185, Hatirpool, New Elephant Rd, Dhaka 1205

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Lettera a un Bambino Mai Nato = Letter to a Child Never Born, Oriana Fallaci

Letter to a Child Never Born (1975) is a novel by Italian author and journalist Oriana Fallaci.

It is written as a letter by a young professional woman (Fallaci herself) to the fetus she carries in utero; it details the woman's struggle to choose between a career she loves and an unexpected pregnancy, explaining how life works with examples of her childhood, and warning him/her about the unfairness of the world. The Engl
Once in a while, I stumble upon an unheard of book written by someone who expresses everything I have ever felt and says it as eloquently and without any reservations as I would hope to someday. And I realize once again why reading is so vital to my existence. Only literature helps me make my peace with all the ugliness in the world and infuses me with the strength to carry on with whatever futile everyday doings I busy myself with, in the hope that someone somewhere has summarized the greater h ...more
Steven Godin
May 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: italy, non-fiction
This is a very difficult book to review, seeing as I don't have a womb, thus will never carry a child.
The whole narrative is a juggernaut of intense, heartrending and headline size sentences, presumably a fictional account of Fallaci's miscarriage, but I found her highly inflated state of emotion did begin to lose it's power later on. The dream sequences and imagined dialog from the viewpoint of the unborn child were a clever idea, and no doubt the book will be truly unforgettable for some, but
Ivana Books Are Magic
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most profoundly sad books I've ever read, Letter to a Child Never Born is a deeply personal conversation between a woman and her unborn child. You might call it a monologue, but to me it feels more like a dialogue, even if the child this 'letter' is directed to is still a fetus. The way Fallaci addresses the child makes it seem all too real. Yes, the fetus doesn't directly answer the mother, but one can feel there is a bond, a bond that grows as the novel progresses. Isn't pregnancy o ...more
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I will never know what it feels like to be expecting (at least not in this lifetime if you believe in reincarnation). Nor will I ever know what goes through the mind of a woman facing a pregnancy for which she is totally unprepared. Thanks though to Oriana Fallaci's 'Letter to a Child Never Born', I have been given a glimpse into how at least one woman 'might' feel in such a situation.

This 'novel' (I have no idea if it reflects her own thinking or experiences) despite being so short, runs the wh
Mar 01, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: Fathers to be; Fathers of Young Children; Fathers who no longer speak with their adult children
Shelves: favoritereads
I initially read Oriana Fallaci's book "A Man" after reading her interview with the Ayatollah Khomeini. The recounting of her encounter with the Cyproit patriot who was the subject of the book "A Man" caused me to admire her courage to simply be honest. The honesty and the intimacy which she penned in "Letter to a Child Never Born" fortuneately or unfortuneately for my children, guided my parenting more than any of teh volumes on Childrearing which I read. ...more
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Here we have a protagonist, lady who brakes up after confirming pregnancy for her man suggested to abort. She writes a letter to that fetus in her womb, about life, living life and all the strings attached to life as a whole. A letter on human tendencies, values and worth-less chasing that we do for various statuses. She writes all negatives first. She writes all the dirty things about life which people'll generally avoid talking about. She writes things as they're meant to be. I was shell shock ...more
Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Bracing, emotional--true depths are reached here. Fallaci, unexpectedly pregnant in her 40s, writes to her unborn child, whose father wants Fallaci to have an abortion. Fallaci finds herself unwilling to do so, though she has no plans to maintain a relationship with the father. She is buffeted by the reactions of those around her--her parents, who are disappointed; a friend who insists she'll ruin her life if she has the baby; her doctor, who mistrusts her willingness to be a mother. She veers b ...more

Currently in the United States, a corpse has more rights to its parts than a living person capable of giving birth has to theirs. That statement is capable of making a great deal of people very angry: some blab on about the corpse, some others about the sanctity of life, still others on the fact that I used "person capable of giving birth" rather "women", as if the solution to social justice is to go full circle right back to defining human beings by what is assumed to be their genitals. In
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Personally I’m not sure how I’m gonna feel in my 40s or 50s , but right now I’m so happy for not having any child !
Giving Birth from my perspective as a woman is the only responsibility in the world you can never get rid of .
It’s not all about responsibility, the main doubt is , does the word “Life” worth it to get suffered life time as a person , who had absolutely no choice to be born or not?!

كاش مادر و پدر شدن به اندازه يه سيگار خريدن و كشيدن فقط به اندازه يه سيگار كشيدن زمان ميبرد و سختى دا
(⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ well deserved)

I don't know if it's all the Handmaid's Tale hype but lately I became more and more interested in reading feminist books, but I found this book to be a little masterpiece and seminal in its field. Never trite, and never sugar-coating, Fallaci tells her own story with a great deal of realism, pain and a rawness that maybe elsewhere I would find to be unpleasant, but that are necessary when you are dealing with divisive themes like abortion.

But this book also deals with patri
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book made me desperately love and fiercely hate: my mother, as well as myself for being female, my husband for being male, and the world in which we live for the unfairness of life in general. I am very much pro-choice, and after reading this book my opinion wavered back and forth several times until I came to a final conclusion: what is right for some is wrong for others, and what is right for one right now may be wrong for that one in future. Life is an unknown, and all we can do is live ...more
I highly recommend this book, I loved it.

It is about abortion, love and family written in a completely honest and disarming way.

The writer finds out to be pregnant and she's writing a never ending letter to her child warning him/her about the unfairness of the world.

It is a short and beautiful read and it brings a different and genuine point of view. I personally think it doesn't exist an “enough” when talking about these subjects, even though they result a lot more difficult than other ones.
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My favorite one. I love this book and I read it over and over again and I also will ... This is true enough about life.
Suzanne Ondrus
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
La Petite Princesse :-)
It's easy to ignore sexism when it works in your favor.
I'm surprised to know that a lot of men consider this book as nonsense complaints of the author about the injustice that is applied against women. I saw this book also mentioned disadvantages of being a man as well. Moreover, I found parts which were written about disadvantages of being a woman very true.
In general though I believe the author's belief towards life is too dark and bitter. Especially the first half of the book was too sad th
This is a slim volume, barely 100 pages, but it is very dense. It is delivered in second person, as a monologue – a letter to her unborn child – that feels very intimate. This is a feminist manifesto of a single woman expecting a child in the Catholic, conservative, man-dominated Italy of the seventies.

“In the legends that males have invented to explain life, the first human creature is a man named Adam. Eve arrives later, to give him pleasure and cause trouble. In the paintings that adorn chur
Aysan Ghaffarzadeh
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
“You belong neither to God nor the state nor me. You belong to yourself and no one else.”

“And yet, or just for this reason, it's so fascinating to be a woman. It's an adventure that takes such courage, a challenge that's never boring. You'll have so many things to engage you if you're born a woman."

“No matter what system you live under, there is no escaping the law that it's always the strongest, the cruelest, the least generous who win.”

Simin Yadegar
Aug 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: social
very nice, Orianna Fallaci is a very good and brave writer.
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is not a story; this is reality and what a unique narration. I have also read "Useless sex" by the same author. And I can say she is brilliant. I wish she could finish this review herself :) ...more
Megan Rataj
May 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had never heard of Oriana Fallaci before I read this book, but I will definitely be reading more of her books! Letter to a Child Never Born is the story of a woman who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant and how she copes with it. She bounces between joy at the prospect of having a child, and depression at the thought of bringing an innocent child into a world full of so much suffering and inequality. But by far the best bit is the end where, after she has lost the baby, she puts herself on tr ...more
Jun 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book was so touching, that's really all I can say about it. I read somewhere that it's almost as if it's the feminist manifesto, and I can see why. The most poignant part to me is when she realizes that she doesn't want the child to control her thoughts, feelings, and actions while pregnant and so she drinks a slug of whiskey and chain smokes cigarettes.

I cried and laughed. The book was so fantastic. I hope that when I perform it next year for my speech and drama team, everyone will feel as
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life is such an effort, Child. It’s a war that is renewed each day, and its moments of joy are brief parentheses for which you pay a cruel price. How can I know that it wouldn’t be better to throw you away? How can I tell that you wouldn’t rather be returned to the silence? You cannot speak to me; your drop of life is only a cluster of cells that has scarcely begun. Perhaps it’s not even life, only mere possibility of life, I wish that you could help me with even a nod, a slight sign.

Ala makoto athari nejad
it was so atractive & was very feminine too!
may be more women s like it!
Danial M
Feb 27, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
good for the birds
i found out that iranian people are not just the stupid people with stupid strict believes .
i like it.
May 16, 2015 rated it liked it
the world changes and remains the same.
I know ours is a world made by men for men, their dictatorship is so ancient it even extends to language.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read-books
Letter To a Child Never Born
Oriana Fallaci

To Be Or Not Be, That's The Question

This book is a mother's monologue with her never-born-child which provides us with an explanation of Shakespeare's most famous lines, "To be or not to be." Oriana Fallaci has highlighted some very crucial questions regarding existence and nothingness. Life is beautiful but at the same time it's horrible too it's a hotch potch of War,Hatred, Exploitation,Love,Happiness. We are born to die in fact life is a jou
Helena Pilih
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a book of questions, not answers. They're questions that I've asked myself many times (especially since passing my 30th birthday) and surely other women have too. That's the real power of this book -- it made me feel normal, heard, understood.

If a woman doesn't have children, she is selfish. If she has "too many", she is selfish. Don't even mention abortion. We're judged for our choices regardless of what we do, but they should that know that we've already judged ourselves from every ang
Ana de Oliveira Casella
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A raw, but tender and extremely honest monologue from a woman who’s expecting a child as a single mother. Written in the 70’s, it depicts the debate around abortion and all its nuances in an impressionable modern perspective to the time, making this book still very up-to-date.
My favorite chapters were the ones dealing with the subject of being born as a woman vs. being born as a man.
Read and available in Spanish at
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یک جهان بینی متفاوت 3 43 Dec 27, 2014 03:50AM  
500 Great Books B...: Letter to a Child Never Born - Oriana Fallaci - Samadrita 1 23 Jul 31, 2014 01:55PM  
. . . 1 6 Nov 04, 2013 01:36AM  
I love this book. 5 49 Oct 07, 2013 05:15AM  
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Oriana Fallaci was born in Florence, Italy. During World War II, she joined the resistance despite her youth, in the democratic armed group "Giustizia e Libertà". Her father Edoardo Fallaci, a cabinet maker in Florence, was a political activist struggling to put an end to the dictatorship of Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini. It was during this period that Fallaci was first exposed to the at ...more

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