In our seventh episode of the JUST THREE podcast, host Catherine LaSota talks with writer and musician George Estreich, who worked with Rachel Adams on the publication of Alison Piepmeier's book Unexpected: Parenting, Prenatal Testing, and Down Syndrome (NYU Press, February 2021), which was celebrated in a launch event hosted by the Motherhood & Technology working group at the Center for the Study of Social Difference.
In this conversation, George talks about his experience as a parent and a writer, how writing and social justice intersect (as well as the limitations of writing), and the challenges we face in a society where the performance of intellect becomes a method of evaluating worth.
George Estreich’s publications include a chapbook, Elegy for Dan Rabinowitz (Intertext, 1993) and a full-length poetry collection, Textbook Illustrations of the Human Body, which won the Gorsline Prize from Cloudbank Books (2003). The Shape of the Eye (SMU Press, 2011; Penguin, 2013), his memoir about raising a daughter with Down syndrome, received the 2012 Oregon Book Award in Creative Nonfiction. Estreich has published essays and articles in The New York Times, The Oregonian, Avidly, The American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, Salon, Tin House, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. His recent book Fables and Futures: Biotechnology, Disability, and the Stories we Tell Ourselves (MIT Press, 2019) was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award and was named a Best Science Book of 2019 by NPR's Science Friday. Fables and Futures explores the way we think and talk about human-directed biotechnology, from next-generation prenatal tests to CRISPR/Cas9, the genome-editing tool. Blending personal narrative and scholarship, Estreich argues that with biotech able to select and shape who we are, we need to imagine what it means to belong.
Learn more about George Estreich and his work here:
More about Alison Piepmeier's book Unexpected, including a link to purchase from NYU Press, can be found here:
Learn more about the Motherhood & Technology working group here:
Website of the Center for the Study of Social Difference: https://www.socialdifference.columbia.edu/
Music in our podcasts is by Blue Dot Sessions, and episodes are mixed by Craig Eley.
Catherine LaSota, host of the JUST THREE podcast, is Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University.