BIRTHMARK by Lorraine Dusky


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In 1966 Lorraine Dusky, a reporter then in her early twenties, bore her married lover's daughter and gave the child up for adoption. The tale is relatively simple and oft-told: he couldn't abandon his wife and children, she was dedicated to a Writing Career, and the pregnancy was discovered too late for an abortion. But Dusky didn't reckon with the guilt and yearning that would haunt her forever after. The book is part of her crusade to find the child, as well as to campaign for the opening up of adoption records; but she succeeds only partially in tapping the reader's sympathies. For one thing, there are far too many proud details about her career to make the remorse seem entirely genuine. For another, her liberated lifestyle is at variance with her essentially old-fashioned image of biological motherhood's importance--""Whoever said biology is destiny is right""--and with her hysterical regressions into small-town morality in labeling herself a ""fallen woman who gave her child away,"" or deeming herself unworthy of ever having another child. A guilty search that may or may not find sympathizers among the True Confessions crowd.

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 1979
Publisher: Evans