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Julia Leigh

An intensely personal narrative of loss, hope, and longing for a child.

Date Published
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At the age of thirty-eight, acclaimed novelist Julia Leigh made her first visit to the IVF clinic, full of optimism. So started a long and costly journey of nightly injections, blood tests, surgeries, and rituals.

Writing in the immediate aftermath of her decision to stop treatment, Leigh lays bare the truths of her experience: the highs of hope and the depths of disappointment, the grip of yearning and desire, the toll on her relationships, and the unexpected graces and moments of black humour. Along the way she navigates the science of IVF, copes with the impact of treatment, and reconciles the seductive promises of the worldwide multi-billion-dollar IVF industry with the reality.

Avalanche is the book that has finally been written on IVF treatment: a courageous, compelling and ultimately wise account of a profoundly important and widespread experience. At the heart of this work is an exploration of who and how we love. It is a story we can all relate to – about the dreams we have, defeated or otherwise, for ourselves, our loves, and our relationships.

Critic Reviews

Gut wrenchingly good. I read it in one intense sitting.

Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love
Critic Reviews

Leigh captures the crush and tumble of hope, loss, exhaustion and perseverance; the kind and callous faces of medical practice, friends’ and strangers’ support and disapproval . . . This lean, focused work has the propulsion and rapidity of the titular avalanche. It follows the narrative slope of desire and shares with Leigh’s previous work qualities of intensity and haunting.

Felicity Plunkett, The Australian
Critic Reviews

An astonishing and unflinching personal account of an IVF journey – fierce, touching and redemptive.

Jane Campion
Critic Reviews

Having a baby has turned into something of a big, public spectacle. Which makes it more important than ever for stories like Julia Leigh's – that of longing for and failing to have a child and the harsh realities of the IVF industry – to be heard.

Laura Pearson, Chicago Tribune
Critic Reviews

One of the first intelligent, personal accounts of the daily business of IVF.

Lara Feigel, Guardian
Critic Reviews

I want the world to read Avalanche by Julia Leigh . . . a searing memoir: lyrical, beautiful and true . . . she didn't need to lay her life and inner most feelings bare, but she did.

Jessica Hepburn, author of The Pursuit of Motherhood

Julia Leigh’s debut novel, The Hunter, was published around the world and won numerous awards, including a Betty Trask Award and the 2001 Prix de l’Astrolabe. It was also selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her second novel, Disquiet, won the Encore Award. Her film Sleeping Beauty was officially selected for the Festival de Cannes…

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