Childless Voices

Lorna Gibb

Published: 7 February 2019
Trade Paperback, Demy PB
135x216mm, 288 pages
ISBN: 9781783782628

Other Editions


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Published: 6 February 2020
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 288 pages
ISBN: 9781783782642

Ebook Available

About the author

Image of Lorna Gibb

Lorna Gibb was born in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, Scotland. She is a university lecturer and now lives in London. She is the author of Lady Hester: Queen of the East and West's World: The Extraordinary Life of Dame Rebecca West. Her first novel, A Ghost's Story, was published by Granta in 2015. Childless Voices was published in February 2019. More about the author


Childless Voices is impressive and moving, endowed with a deep authenticity and written with courage and honestyPaul Komesaroff



Profoundly moving [and] important in piecing together and making visible a vast swathe of female existence routinely hidden or erased... wonderful

‘A fascinating anthology that reminds us how much there is to learn from a plurality of voices, and the value of discovering common ground in one another's stories’

‘Dr. Gibb's point that sharing experience is the only to understand each other, and overcome stigma, is true in all societies’

‘Gibb's account is restrained, coloured with love and gratitude... [Through] her acts of listening, fastidious exactitude and unflinching accounts of tragedy, she can make the case for empathy, imagination and respect as the most viable beginnings...powerfulAida Edemariam

‘In a candid amalgamation of personal experience and extensive international research, university professor Lorna Gibb collects dozens of stories about the many variations of childlessness’ Natalie Bowen

‘In this powerfully honest book [...] Gibb offers international perspectives on a topic that is still far too little examined’

‘International and comparative [it] reveals valuable perspectives that can sometimes be overlooked’ Rebecca Forster

‘Lorna Gibb builds a profound story around absence and the shape it gives lives around the world. Her tales of childless people of all situations are by turns moving, inspiring and shocking but always beautifully and sympathetically writtenSusanna Forrest

‘Lorna Gibb's study of childlessness is an enthralling mixture of empathy and enquiry. She starts, movingly, with her own experience, then uses it to explore other women's stories, historically, culturally and politically. She is a thoughtful, informed, and always kind witness and guide to this much under explored issue. A brave and brainy bookKate Clanchy

‘This powerful and moving portrait of people without children combines memoir of the author's own childlessness and her eventual acceptance of it, with a many-faceted cultural overview of an issue which affects millions of people’ Editor's Choice

‘With this timely book, [Dr Lorna Gibb] asks why we still fail to value those who are not parents...she is at her most tender when describing her own thoughts on motherhood and the child she never had... Gibb's words suggest a love so big that it outweighs her sense of loss’ Jackie Annesley

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