When Belle Boggs' "The Art of Waiting" was published in Orion in 2012, it went viral, leading to republication in Harper's Magazine and an interview on NPR's The Diane Rehm Show. In that heartbreaking essay, Boggs eloquently recounts her realization that she might never be able to conceive. She searches the apparently fertile world around her - the emergence of 13-year cicadas, the birth of eaglets near her rural home, and an unusual gorilla pregnancy at a local zoo - for signs that she is not alone.
"Infertility and cultural experience"
Between 1929 and 1974, more than 7,600 North Carolinians were sterilized, sometimes without informed consent and frequently under coercion. The victims, poor men and women from around the state, were never compensated for losing the ability to conceive children. Nearly 40 years later, during a rancorous 2013 legislative session in which severe restrictions on abortion, voting rights and funding for public education were passed, the state got another chance to right one of its most shameful acts.