Flash Count Diary

Flash Count Diary

Menopause and the Vindication of Natural Life

Book - 2019
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"Many days I believe menopause is the new (if long overdue) frontier for the most compelling and necessary philosophy; Darcey Steinke is already there, blazing the way. This elegant, wise, fascinating, deeply moving book is an instant classic. I'm about to buy it for everyone I know." --Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts

A brave, brilliant, and unprecedented examination of menopause

Menopause hit Darcey Steinke hard. First came hot flashes. Then insomnia. Then depression. As she struggled to express what was happening to her, she came up against a culture of silence. Throughout history, the natural physical transition of menopause has been viewed as something to deny, fear, and eradicate. Menstruation signals fertility and life, and childbirth is revered as the ultimate expression of womanhood. Menopause is seen as a harbinger of death. Some books Steinke found promotedhormone replacement therapy. Others encouraged acceptance. But Steinke longed to understand menopause in a more complex, spiritual, and intellectually engaged way.

In Flash Count Diary, Steinke writes frankly about aspects of Menopause that have rarely been written about before. She explores the changing gender landscape that comes with reduced hormone levels, and lays bare the transformation of female desire and the realities of prejudice against older women. Weaving together her personal story with philosophy, science, art, and literature, Steinke reveals that in the seventeenth century, women who had hot flashes in front of others could be accused of being witches; thatthe model for Duchamp's famous Étant donnés was a post-reproductive woman; and that killer whales--one of the only other species on earth to undergo menopause--live long post-reproductive lives.

Flash Count Diary, with its deep research, open play of ideas, and reverence for the female body, will change the way you think about menopause. It's a deeply feminist book--honest about the intimations of mortality that menopause brings while also arguing for the ascendancy, beauty, and power of the post-reproductive years.

Publisher: New York :, Sarah Crichton Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,, 2019.
Edition: First Edition.
ISBN: 9780374156114
0374156115
Branch Call Number: 155.333 Steinke 06/2019
Characteristics: 228 pages ;,20 cm

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JCLLisaA Oct 11, 2019

I found this book a fascinating read not just about biology and nature; but about aging in this particular society. Steinke writes about menopause as part of a person’s life, not the only thing in life; meaning, while she experiences hot flashes and depression and the other symptoms common to a w... Read More »


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JCLLisaA Oct 11, 2019

I found this book a fascinating read not just about biology and nature; but about aging in this particular society. Steinke writes about menopause as part of a person’s life, not the only thing in life; meaning, while she experiences hot flashes and depression and the other symptoms common to a woman going through menopause, she is also still a grieving daughter, a wife, a mother, a writer, a friend. She takes us with her on whale watching expeditions and uses the narrative of whales experiencing menopause to posit that it’s not the physical change in a body that carries shame and stigma; rather, it’s how our society has prioritized the male gaze, how it values youth over the advantages that come with age.

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