Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Delivery by Emanuela Barasch-Rubinstein - Book Tour

Book Blurb :-

When Daphne becomes pregnant, it isn’t only her life that changes…

For her husband Amir, for their parents, and for their friends Guy and Abigail, the pregnancy and birth force them all to look at their own lives, at what they want, at their pasts and their futures.

Each person has a different perspective of the delivery, and of the complexity of having a child: the difference between men and women, a changing self-perception of parents, conflicts between work and parenthood.

Lives are changed, and the equilibrium each of them has achieved is fundamentally disturbed until, after the delivery, they can find a new balance for the future.

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Tenth Month

(A dialogue between the young parents. First the father)

“Why do people cheat on their partners?! I don’t know. I always thought it contains a seed of hatred.”

“Hatred? For whom? For their partner?”

“Their partner, themselves, maybe their whole lives, I don’t know. People pick one way to live and then wish they’d chosen another. They commit to the woman they love and then dislike her because she stops them being with anyone else. So maybe cheating is about finding if it is possible to change some choices. Not that we want to change them; we simply want to know it’s possible.”

“Maybe it’s simply falling for someone?”

“Obviously, but it’s not just about that. It’s a taste of the life you will never have: a romance with a woman you won’t live with, a body you won’t see age, family and friends you won’t meet. The enchantment is the risk; not the risk of getting caught, but that the person you are cheating with would turn out to be better than your partner. And this ongoing comparison—Daphne, are you crying? I can’t see in the dark, are you crying?”

“No, only a couple of tears. It happens quite often lately.”

“Daph, you know I am not talking about myself, don’t you? Come here, let me hug you. I was only imagining how it must feel. You know how happy I am with us and Tomer, don’t you?”

“I’m just a bit moody lately.”

“I know. Maybe we should consult the doctor? Perhaps it’s postpartum depression.”

“Maybe. I don’t know what that really means.”

“A physical consequence of giving birth, an imbalance that produces depression. I read about it.”

“Imbalance? Between what? I think it is all the result of pain.”

“The result of pain?”

“Yes. Never have I experienced such torment. You know, all my life I have been afraid of the pain of giving birth. This fear, a vague, fundamental anxiety, has always been there, without needing any special attention. A sort of understanding that something I want dearly will necessarily involve terrible agony. And this comprehension mars even the happiest expectations of the future.”

“Were you always nervous about giving birth?”

“Yes. And from the moment I knew I was pregnant the fear became real, fully tangible, a petrifying feeling that leaves no room for other emotions.”

“Well, I am glad the labour is over. Now is the time for happiness.”

“Ah, well, this is what I didn’t understand: the fear of the birth is one side of the coin; the other side is the actual experience of pain.”

“I don’t understand.”
“I discovered that the torment generated a new, unfamiliar fragility. Every contraction tearing my body created a new kind of meekness, every exploding vein produced self- doubt—I found that pain truly makes you see yourself, demonstrating your frailty, leaving you feeble, distrusting yourself. The night after the delivery, when the suffering was fresh and the wound still bleeding, I cried in bed, overwhelmed by my physical weakness, my failure to hold back, the marks torture left even when pain itself had subsided, and for the first time in my life I saw myself in all my weakness. I always thought I was an optimistic person, willing to make any effort to overcome obstacles. But after the birth I realized pain could break me down in an instant: one contraction, the body is torn, and all that is left are cries of pain and nothing else. Postpartum depression? No, a different person after giving birth.”

“Strange, I never thought about it but that’s true.”

“Do you know what my mother, my sister, the nurses told me? ‘You will soon forget it all.’”

“They’re right, aren’t they?”

“No, absolutely not. I mean, the memory of pain fades, but not its effect.”

“I never could have believed pain has such consequences.”

“You know I love Tomer dearly and I’m thrilled that I have a child. But I find this disregard for the suffering of labor infuriating.”

“It seems to me it’s better to try and forget it all. Anyway it can’t be changed.”

“I think it’s the other way around: the suffering must be respected.”

“Respect suffering? Is it good to be in pain?”

“Of course not. I would rather not feel the childbirth at all. But if it involves such torture, it should be acknowledged and appreciated. Simply ignoring it is insulting. It became part of me.”

“Daphne, you know what happened to my mother when I was born...”

“I was always angry with her.”
“I know.”
“It may be that I didn’t really understand. Perhaps I’ll ask her what exactly happened then. Hey, Tomer is waking up. Come Daphne, look how sweet he is, moving his lips like that.”



Emanuela Barasch Rubinstein is a writer and a scholar in the Humanities. This is her second work of fiction, following Five Selves, published in 2015 by Holland House Books. Her non-fiction work includes The Devil, the Saints, and the Church, Nazi Devil, and Mephisto in the Third Reich: Literary representations of Evil in Nazi Germany. Emanuela also translated Evans-Prichards’ Theories of Primitive Religion and Dodd’s The Greek and the Irrational from English into Hebrew.

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing this extract and for taking part in the tour today x


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