I Know What’s Best for You: Stories on Reproductive Freedom, edited by Shelly Oria. San Francisco, California: McSweeney’s, 2022. 480 pages. $21.99, paperback.
In the months since SCOTUS’s overturning of Roe v. Wade it’s been incredibly difficult to feel like the voices of women and gender minorities are being listened to. While it’s easy to feel completely powerless, I’ve managed to take comfort in the ways I’ve seen individuals, communities, and creators work to take care of and empower those most affected. I Know What’s Best for You: Stories on Reproductive Freedom, edited by Shelley Oria, has been one of those sources of power and comfort. This book does exactly what needs to be done right now; it gives marginalized people a place to talk about their decisions, bodies, and lives as if they are important (because they are). The anthology consists of the work of 28 creators and includes works of fiction, poetry, photography, creative nonfiction, plays, and even a comic. The collection was done in collaboration with and works to financially support the The Brigid Alliance, a long-standing organization that helps people access abortion care and travel funds in underserved areas.
One of the many great strengths of this book is that it refuses to limit the narrative of reproductive justice to one kind of story. So often conversations around this topic work to solely center able-bodied cis straight white women who need an abortion because of specific circumstances. Not only is this narrative reductive, it’s offensive and extremely harmful to those who are most vulnerable. This anthology gives the microphone to BIPOC, queer, and disabled artists who work to show an honest and complicated range of experiences. I’m grateful to Mcsweeney’s for giving this book a platform and grateful to all of these creators for their stories in such a violent time. There is something important to be gained from each and every one of the pieces in this anthology. I hope you all go get this book and/or request it at your local library.
—Gen Greer, MAR