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5 Candid And Compelling Fall Memoirs On Women’s Health

When we share our stories, it offers a chance to connect with each other, building our consciousness of the world and our bonds as humans. When it comes to women's health, there's nothing greater than reading a real-life account from other women on their struggles. Here are five memoirs by women out this fall that touch on health.

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1. Naked Mountain by Marcia Mabee


This compelling memoir takes place in mountaintop in Virginia. Marcia and her husband purchased the land for camping adventures but it soon brings them much more, including a passion for conservation that leads to the dedication of the Naked Mountain Natural Area Preserve. The story takes a sharp turn when Marcia faces life-threatening ovarian cancer. All at the same time her husband receives a diagnosis of his own. Naked Mountain explores the ups and downs of one woman’s journey trough illness, losing the love of her life, her journey to healing and a chance to love again.

2. The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood by Belle Boggs


In The Art of Waiting, Belle Boggs recounts her knowledge that she might never be able to have children. She explores the world around for a sign that she’s not alone but only manages to see a fertile planet around her. She also explores other aspects of fertility and infertility throughout history; from Macbeth to the classic Coen brothers film Raising Arizona. She reports complex stories of iconic writers’ comments on motherhood and fertility, LGBT couples who are looking for alternative reproduction options and men and women living childless or childfree live. Boggs explores the different aspects of fertility, choice and what creating a family actually looks like.

3. Scream: A Memoir of Glamour and Dysfunction by Tama Janowitz


In the 1980s Tama Janowitz was hailed as the Lit girl of New York after the publication of her short story collection Slaves of New York. She was grouped as one of the original Brat Pack writers, a wave of young minimalists whose sensible writing put them at the forefront of American culture. In her first memoir Scream, Janowitz remembers the quirky literary world of New York in the 80s and reflects on her opposite life today, that includes a mother with dementia, a teenage daughter and a criticizing brother. This time Janowitz turns the criticism on herself and offers understanding, humor and detail in a fearless and moving way.

4. Before I Forget by B. Smith, Dan Gasby and Michael Shnayerson


B. Smith is known for being a restaurateur, a magazine publisher, celebrity chef and lifestyle maven. Now at 66, Smith is struggling with her latest title: Alzheimer’s patient. Working with Vanity Fair contributing editor, Michael Shnayerson, B. and her husband Dan share their unfolding journey with this disease. Fashioned in short chapters that combine their narrative with practical advice and lessons learned, Before I Forget will generate hope to readers everywhere.

5. Swimming in the Sink by Lynne Cox


Athlete Lynne Cox is best known for swimming the English Channel at fifteen, being the first woman to swim across Cook Strait (eighteen miles), and being the first to swim off Antarctica in 32-degree water—all without a wetsuit. In the midst of becoming a supreme athlete, she became the caretaker of her elderly parents , who passed away in rapid succession. Soon after, her beloved Labrador retriever passed away, leaving Cox literally heart broken. She was then diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib). As her state went from bad to worse, Cox began to fear living a lesser life, one with a pacemaker and a defibrillator. In Swimming in the Sink, Cox discusses coming to terms with her illness and new frailty, her treatment and road to recovery and something she never expected to find along the way: love.

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