Birth, as both a metaphor and the actual physical act itself, are of interest to Minnesota writer Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew.
“It’s a magical, mystical experience that we all go through, but know little about,” she said.
It’s that experience — both the literal and metaphorical — that serve as the crux of Jarrett Andrew’s most recent novel, “Hannah, Delivered,” published last May. The book takes on myriad subjects, but the controversial topic of home birth is what she wanted to focus on.
“It’s very marginalized in our culture,” she said. “And I’m interested in what it’s reclaiming and what it can do for us metaphorically. It’s a book about moving through fear to a different form of trust in the world.”
As a writer, Jarrett Andrew said she is always interested in personal transformations.
“I look at the ways that we can all give birth,” she said. “How we all come into new life to find something we can claim.”
Roosevelt Elementary School teacher Lisa Simons met Jarrett Andrew through classes at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. The two struck up a friendship and Simons said she had been trying to coordinate a reading and discussion with Jarrett Andrew for a few months.
“Faribault has a strong book club presence and literary appreciation,” Simons said. “The themes of the story will resonate deeply with women in the book groups.”
Simons co-organized the event with retired teacher and freelance writer Gloria Olson, who agreed with Simons on the importance of the topics within the book.
“They are timely,” Olson said. “There are changes all of the time in decisions that women make. Any insight into that is good to consider.”
Olson said that both she and Simons are hopeful that they can continue to organize events like this to bring a literary presence to the Faribault community.
“Except for events at the library, it’s an area of the arts that isn’t happening much here,” she said, adding that she and Simons are making it more of a social event as well by offering drinks and snacks prior to the Andrew’s reading.
Olson also said there will be a raffle to assist in covering the costs. Any additional proceeds will be donated to the Friends of The Library.