Susan Hawthorne - Dark Matters & Renate Klein - Surrogacy

Tuesday 31 October 2017
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
In store at Avid Reader Bookshop
Tickets $7.50
Tickets available until 31 October 2017 6:00 PM

This event commences at 6:30pm. Printed tickets are not issued and your booking will be on a door list under your surname. 

Join us for a Spinifex Press night when Susan Hawthorne (Dark Matters: A novel) and Renate Klein (Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation) launch their new books. 

Dark Matters: A novel by Susan Hawthorne 

In a dawn raid, Kate is arrested. She is imprisoned, beaten, kept awake and tortured. She has no idea what has happened to her partner, Mercedes. The uncertainty plagues her. It is as if she has no history. Trying to retain her sense of self in a swirling psychic state, she invents stories. And she remembers stories of her mother, her grandmothers and aunts, the rich mythic traditions of Greece. She rearranges them and writes poems in her head. 

After Kate’s death, her niece, Desi, is going through boxes of papers, trying to make sense of her aunt’s life. Desi travels to South America and unlocks the history of Mercedes' family: a history of political torture, disappearance and escape.

Susan Hawthorne’s dark story uncovers the hidden histories of organised violence against lesbians. She traces fear and uncertainty, and finds a narrative of resilience created through the writing of poems. The author asks: how do we pass on stories hidden by both shame and resistance to shame? A novel that is poetic and terrifying.

Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation by Renate Klein 

Pared down to cold hard facts, surrogacy is the commissioning/buying/renting of a woman into whose womb an embryo is inserted and who thus becomes a ‘breeder’ for a third party.

Surrogacy is heavily promoted by the stagnating IVF industry which seeks new markets for women over 40, and gay men who believe they have a ‘right’ to their own children and ‘family foundation’. Pro-surrogacy groups in rich countries such as Australia and Western Europe lobby for the shift to commercial surrogacy. Their capitalist neo-liberal argument is that a well-regulated fertility industry would avoid the exploitative practices of poor countries.

Central to the project of cross-border surrogacy is the ideology that legalised commercial surrogacy is a legitimate means to provide infertile couples and gay men with children who share all or part of their genes. Women, without whose bodies this project is not possible are reduced to incubators, to ovens, to suitcases. And the ‘product child’ is a tradable commodity who has never consented to being a ‘take away baby’: removed from their birth mother and given to strangers aka ‘intended parents’. Still, those in favour of this practice of reproductive slavery speak of ‘Fair Trade Surrogacy’ and ‘responsible surrogacy’. 

In Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation Renate Klein details her objections to surrogacy by examining the short- and long-term harms done to the so-called surrogate mothers, egg providers and the female partner in a heterosexual commissioning couple. Klein also looks at the rights of children and compares surrogacy to (forced) adoption practices. She concludes that surrogacy, whether so-called altruistic or commercial can never be ethical and outlines forms of resistance to Stop Surrogacy Now. www.stopsurrogacynow.com

It is the global advertising campaigns that groom infertile couples and gay men that have led to the establishment of multibillion cross-border industries: money made literally from women’s flesh.

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