MARRIAGE WITHOUT CHILDREN by Diana Burgwyn

MARRIAGE WITHOUT CHILDREN

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Yet another defensive book on the subject of not having children--via, this time, a hundred interviews with childless couples (or one of a pair) in urban areas throughout the country. (Cities, the author feels, are ""where the majority of people without children live."") Some were childless by choice (for the usual reasons--career, ""freedom"" to do as desired, fear of altering the marital relationship); others experienced the pain of infertility. But most are too-neatly pigeonholed (""A young woman from the South, sterilized, told me. . ."") and too starkly drawn for conviction. The stories of those who knew their own minds and decided to be sterilized are set forth in soothing, approving tones; the infertile, on the other hand, are seen to go through endless pain and indignities ""because they want to have babies for all the reasons, healthy and neurotic, that fertile people want to have babies."" Childlessness is explored superficially in different arenas of life: divorce and remarriage, middle years, later years, etc. And while the author believes that the elderly need time with the young, these needn't, she thinks, be their grandchildren; a significant number of tomorrow's elderly will be childless, she comments, and may welcome the opportunity to nurture other people's children. Neither a full nor an objective discussion of the issues; for pre-sold audiences only.

Pub Date: Dec. 2nd, 1981
Publisher: Harper & Row