SOCIAL SCIENCES

Unexpected: Parenting, Prenatal Testing, and Down Syndrome

New York Univ. Feb. 2021. 200p. ISBN 9781479816637. $89; pap. ISBN 9781479879953. $27. CHILD REARING
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The late Piepmeier wore many hats:a scholar in the field of literature, feminism, and disability studies, she was a columnist, activist, professor, and mentor prior to her death from brain cancer in 2016. She was also parent to a daughter with Down syndrome. She brings her individual perspective to this title, asking questions such as, what is the line between illness and disability, and how can a parent deal with uncertainties? George Estreich and Rachel Adams (commissioned by Piepmeier to finish her project) are professors who also have children with Down syndrome. The authors wanted to share rarely heard stories from both parents and prospective parents who have confronted challenging decisions about a fetus with Down syndrome. Piepmeier writes about disability as a form of human diversity and says parenting her daughter enabled her to see human value and the world itself differently. She shares her own story and those of other parents such as Emily Perl Kingsley, a longtime writer for Sesame Street.
VERDICT A slow, scholarly read, this work provides insight into a segment of the population rarely explored in the literature.

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