Baby-making these days is swaddled in complexity
San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, April 22, 2007
By Julie Foster
" The topic of assisted reproductive technology is complex, yet Mundy keeps the narrative moving forward without dumbing down the story. She leads the reader through oblique concepts, acronyms and statistics, embedding the facts within the human stories, making her book palatable for serious students of the subject as well as the general reader. Endnotes and a fine bibliography offer readers the opportunity to take their interest even deeper."
New York Times book review
“Lucid….fascinating — and scary. Who knew that the drop in teenage pregnancies may have less to do with effective sex education than with unexplained fertility declines in young men?...The book gains considerable depth from Mundy’s reportorial urge to dig into all aspects of a story. In her discussion of multiple births — nowadays, the arrival of twins, triplets or even quadruplets no longer startles, thanks in part to assisted reproduction — she presents meticulous evidence that twins, produced in almost half of in vitro pregnancies in the United States, face significant health risks.”
Liza Mundy Knows 'Everything Conceivable'
The Agony Column Book Reviews and Commentary
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
by Rick Kleffel
"Just fifty years ago, a book like Liza Mundy's 'Everything Conceivable' (Knopf / Random House ; April 24, 2007 ; $26.95) would have been science fiction, probably written by James Tiptree, Jr. and displaying "his usual keen insight into the human condition". Now, it's non-fiction, and we can be thankful that Washington Post reporter Mundy is on hand to take readers through a fascinating tour on the front lines of the battle between science and humanity. 'Everything Conceivable' is gripping stuff, a non-fiction embodiment of science fictional thought experiments brought to life by life and a skilled writer."
From Publishers Weekly
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
"A revolution is taking place and it's being driven by the most fundamental of all human urges—the desire to reproduce. This revolution is the subject of Mundy's utterly fascinating book on assisted reproduction. The breadth and thoroughness of Mundy's investigation makes it nearly impossible to come away without having your opinions challenged if not changed altogether."
Of Test Tubes and Babies
Monday, March 5, 2007
by Marylyn Donahue --, 3/5/2007
"Take one egg... In Everything Conceivable (Reviews, Feb. 19), Liza Mundy shows the bewildering new world of assisted reproduction."
by Donna Chavez
" Mundy applies prodigious journalistic and research skills to a topic as compelling and timely as assisted reproduction, and the result is a one-night read."
“[U]tterly fascinating. . . . The breadth and thoroughness of Mundy’s investigation makes it nearly impossible to come away without having your opinions challenged if not changed altogether. Mundy . . . combines a science reporter’s objectivity with a mother’s understanding, and she delivers her emotionally charged and often scientifically complex material in clear, bright and eminently readable prose.”
—Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)
“A stimulating, illuminating look at the booming baby–making business and the knotty questions it raises.”
“Mundy covers all bases, seamlessly merging scientific fact, real–life experiences, and philosophical implications. . . . [She] applies prodigious journalistic and research skills to a topic as compelling and timely as assisted reproduction, and the result is a one–night read.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“Everything Conceivable is an enthralling tour through Fertility World. . . . Liza Mundy is the ideal tour guide to this remarkable land. She's curious, funny, incisive, and deeply sympathetic to the terribly difficult decisions that would-be parents face. All that you want to know about modern baby–making—from scientific gambles to wild–west law to gripping human drama—you will find in Everything Conceivable.”
—David Plotz, author of The Genius Factory
“Making babies has become a big business in the United States, and Liza Mundy is there at the bedside, monitoring the rise of assisted reproductive technology. Mundy expertly tracks the fascinating scientific developments. But the real marvel of her book is her empathetic scrutiny of the human dramas and dilemmas those advances have brought with them. Everything Conceivable is a pioneering portrait of an industry that has, for better and for worse, altered our ideas of biology, family, destiny.”
—Ann Hulbert, author of Raising America
“Beautifully written, unfailingly smart, Everything Conceivable is a marvelous book. Mundy’s empathy for people struggling to have children is palpable, but so is her keen astonishment at some of the brave new ways science has devised of helping them. This is a book full of unforgettable stories about human beings facing personal, ethical, and moral dilemmas we could scarcely have imagined a generation ago.”
"Lucid. . . . Fascinating. . . . Meticulous. . . . Mundy dig[s] into all aspects of [the] story." —The New York Times Book Review
"An irresistible dispatch from the far frontier of parenthood. . . . First-rate at explaining the science . . . and finding the flesh-and-blood people living in this remade world." —Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Welcome to the wild new world of reproduction. . . . In this well-researched and vividly detailed book, Liza Mundy follows dozens of topsy-turvy tales from the reproductive edge . . . [with] a fresh voice and with a keen eye for detail." —Washington Post Book World
"Mundy embed[s] the facts within the human stories. . . . This remarkable work provokes a spectrum of emotions ranging from alarm to wonder." —San Francisco Chronicle
"Mundy writes accessibly about science, but the human dimension is at least as prominent in her work. . . . Mundy bring[s] to bear impressive reporting skills and a sharp analytical mind. With empathy and wit, she illuminates the ironies and absurdities, the tragedies and dilemmas, but also the joys, of assisted reproduction." –The Nation
"Engaging. . . . A panoramic and unsettling view. . . . Mundy digs deep into [her subjects'] lives." —Chicago Tribune
"Mundy tells [these] stories with insight and sensitivity. . . . These are tales of miracles, but miracles with a dark side. They throw up quandaries our ancestors never dreamed of, and answers that raise yet more questions." —The Economist
"Mundy is not a doom-and-gloom sensationalist. . . . Her book offers an important chronicle not only of the existing technology, but also of the unanswered questions about the short- and long-term implications." —Slate
"Mundy does an excellent job of rendering a lot of very technical information accessible . . . What makes the book compelling are the people she writes about. . . . Such details humanize the ethical questions." —Austin-American Statesman
"Mundy covers all bases, seamlessly merging scientific fact, real-life experiences, and philosophical implications. . . . [She] applies prodigious journalistic and research skills to a topic as compelling and timely as assisted reproduction, and the result is a one-night read." —Booklist (starred review)
"[An] exhaustive exploration of one of the biggest social and scientific changes of the past fifty years . . . . Unflinching in asking all the difficult questions . . . This book, enlivened by Mundy's generous sympathy and agile moral intelligence, is a major contribution to the debate." —Daily Telegraph (London)