Category Archives: fox chase review

Baby Makers by Gita Aravamudan

baby makersPaperback: 200 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins India (July 15, 2014)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 9351362930

ISBN-13: 978-9351362937

 

Review by Ananya S Guha

 

The Book ” Baby Makers ” is a conscience stricken book which talks about surrogacy in entirety, including ethical issues. The book anatomizes surrogacy laws in different countries, in Asia, USA and UK. It speaks of commercial surrogacy and highlights aspects such as ‘ surrogacy tourism ‘ which is a booming and lucrative industry in India. The book unleashes a narrative power to tell stories of individuals who come to India from the USA, Japan and Germany in search of surrogate ‘ mothers ‘, couples who do not have children but are desperately seeking joys of motherhood, or fatherhood. This is the inner pathos of this explosive book.

Elsewhere in India couples go to different locations such as Bangalore in search of ‘‘baby makers”. But who are they. In India they are the down trodden who just need to improve their pecuniary conditions and have a decent living. This is the tragedy, but it is also the reality- a vicious cycle engendered by poverty, and family encumbrances. But who are the ‘ money makers ‘? Are they not the doctors and the posh hospitals? Indian laws allow commercial surrogacy, but are ambivalent regarding laws about the children, which country they belong to, their passport and visas etc, making the whole issue complex and ambiguous. More often than not foreigners who come to India chasing dreams are not aware of all the laws. All they know is that commercial surrogacy in India is relatively cheap as compared to that in the US. However in countries such as the UK commercial surrogacy is not permitted.

The ethical issue that the book raises is: who is the mother- the surrogate or the intending? Cannot the surrogate mother also experience the delight of motherhood? Does she not have a right to it? Examples are cited as to how hollow a surrogate mother can feel, once she hands over the child to the intending mother. Ethical issues are associated with medical questions. The sperm is the man’s, but the eggs or the womb is that of another woman. Who is the ‘ mother ‘?

This further complicates ethical issues. Social and economic conditions in India compel people like Bina to go to Mumbai in search of better jobs and surrogacy! Bina after earning some lakhs is able to buy a tiny flat in Mumbai, irrespective of the fact that her husband simply sits idle.

The book covers all the technicalities of surrogacy, fertility, insemination and subsequent delivery of the child. It covers issues such as the immediate need for breast feeding. For a couple from Chennai who live in London, the disapproval of their parents/ in laws become insufferable. Out of sheer desperation they go to surrogacy and get twins. Finally of course they spill the beans.

In The US in the nineteen eighties a mother who took the help of a surrogate mother, suddenly did a volte- face, questioning the right to motherhood, making it a national issue and ruckus.

The underlying pathos of this very well written book is ‘ why ‘, why do people come to surrogacy, whether the facilitating mother, or the intended mother? The former does it for pecuniary reasons, the latter because she wants to be a mother. It is an issue involving women. As usual women have to bear the brunt of suffering. This is the larger irony or tragedy that the book charts out.

Cathy and her husband come to India from the USA in search of a surrogate mother. In the US it is too expensive, they are middle class. They overcome ‘ culture shock ‘ and live in Hyderabad for a considerable period of time. But Cathy is always admonished by fear- what if?

Gita Aravamudan, the noted journalist, asks many questions- those related to surrogacy laws, those related to medical laws, the ethical issue (who is the mother?) and those related to sheer monetary exploitation by doctors. It is a book full of pathos and if I may call it- ‘ tragedy ‘. The tragedy lies in a poverty stricken India, it lies in the presence of unscrupulous middle men and women.

This is India. This is a must read book.

You can check out the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Makers-Gita-Aravamudan/dp/9351362930

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ananya- Ananya S Guha works at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) as a Senior Academic. His poems in English have been published in International / National Journals and e zines. He also writes for newspapers, does book reviews and writes on matters related to education. His recent works appeared in the Harper Collins Book of English Poetry edited by Sudeep Sen. He also writes book reviews, articles for newspapers and articles on education, distance education and vocational education.

 

Pomegranate, Sister of the Heart by Carlos Reyes

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Paperback: 76 pages

Publisher: Lost Horse Press; 1 edition (March 23, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0983997527

ISBN-13: 978-0983997528

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Review by g emil reutter

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 Fifthlogic
                           Air
is the key to water
.
Wind is the voice
           of the earth
.
                   Pomegranate
is the sister of the heart
.
In this collection of poems, Carlos Reyes writes of a garden, a shack in a field, of viewing the northern lights and of Knowing:
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1.
We know
that the Pacific lies
some seventy-five miles away
.
where the sun beds down,
so we can quit the fields, eat supper
go to sleep long before
we want to
.
We know sunset—especially
those red, smoke filled
summer sunsets—
.
Metaphor for the end
of our world
.
As children we fall
into its nightmares, burn
in its flames
.
We beg another chance
and once again become godly
then stir again
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Reyes is a master at imagery and metaphor. His poems are carefully crafted such as The Clear Cut:
.
Like the mound of Venus
                                shaved
                      for childbirth
.
                                    only this time
there will be a genesis of mutants
                               millions of young
.
         whose future we can foretell:
                      how long they will live
       and the exact day they will die
 .
He writes of poverty, of the violence of war, of the sea and of darkness. An excerpt from Confronting Darkness:
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The sun had hours
since buried itself
.
What I confronted
was the darkness,
.
afraid as
the blackness began
.
to take me, cover me,
a damp blanket—scarce
.
comfort—from the north
west wind, the wood
.
pile shrinking in the shadows
by the door
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In poem after poem, Reyes stimulates the reader with images and metaphor presented in crafted poems that appear simple on the page, yet bring us into the world of those unnoticed yet regarded highly by this thoughtful poet. Reyes has paid careful attention to the world he came from and the world he lives in. He is real and surreal, his poems beat with the pulse of his heart.
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You can read the poetry of Carlos Reyes in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/11June/CarlosReyes.html

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15648469158_fde0487b43_o-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA) https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/

Fox Chase Review Fiction, Autumn 2014

Autum 2014 Cover

http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/autumn2014fiction.html

The Fox Chase Review Autumn 2014 Poets

Autum 2014 Cover

http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/autumn-poetry-2014.html

The Autumn 2014 Edition of The Fox Chase Review is Now Available

Autum 2014 Cover

The Autumn 2014 Edition of The Fox Chase Review is now live on line. We are pleased to present the following poets and writers.

Poetry by: Charles Carr, Bibhas Roy Chowdhury/Kiriti Sengupta, Noah Cutler, Emari DiGiorgio , James Guth, Ben Heins, David Livewell, Maria Massington, Laren McClung, Kelly McQuain,  Robert Milby,  John Richard Smith,  Changmin Yuan,  Jason Wright

Fiction by: Dennis Lawson and Danny Johnson

www.thefoxchasereview.org

Thanks to our staff: Poetry Editor Diane Sahms-Guarnieri, Fiction Editors Russell Reece and Robert Hambling Davis and Web Editor Katie Reutter.

Esposito and Lee in Fox Chase – November 30th

The Fox Chase Reading Series is pleased to present our Featured Poets/Writers Reading on November 30th with Lynette G. Esposito and Jeffrey Ethan Lee at Ryerss Museum and Library, 7370 Central Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19111. .  The reading will begin @ 1p.m. in the second floor gallery of the museum. The features will be followed by an open reading.

IMG_9260Lynette G. Esposito, MA, Rutgers, has been published in Readers Digest, The Philadelphia Inquirer, US1, various literary magazines and others. She lives with her husband, Attilio, in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. You can read the poetry of Lynette G. Esposito in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/13AW/Exposito.html

JELeeJeffrey Ethan Lee is a poet, writer, co-director and senior poetry editor for Many Mountains Moving,  (  http://mmminc.org/ ) He  Blogs, (http://jeffreyethanlee.blogspot.com/ ),  on themes of interest to poets & writers. You can read the poetry of Jeffrey Ethan Lee in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/09AW/06-JELee.html

Rosenbloom and Wunder Inspire at Ryerss

IMG_0377IMG_0382

Featured poets Robert Rosenbloom and Bill Wunder delighted the crowd with their reading today. The featured poets were followed in the open mic by: Lynette Esposito and Rodger Lowenthal

More photographs of the event here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/12065560@N04/sets/72157629096910438/