Announcing a new book by Brooks Hansen
The Brotherhood of Joseph:
A Father's Memoir of Infertility and Adoption in the 21st Century
While miracles in reproductive technology have brought joy to millions, those very advances have plunged many couples into an unrelenting cycle of hope and heartbreak. One failed attempt may lead to another and another—but how do you give up when there is always another doctor, another procedure holding out the possibility of conception and the child you yearn for? Brooks Hansen vividly captures the emotional turmoil he and his wife, Elizabeth, endured as they tried to concieve, the years their lives were put on hold, and the excruciating sense of loss. He writes too of the couple’s journey through the bewildering world of adoption—a path to parenthood fraught with financial, legal, and emotional risks of its own.
Offering men a chance to be heard and women a rare opportunity to view the struggle with infertility from a male perspective, The Brotherhood of Joseph brings to life the anger, frustration, humor, heartbreak, and sense of helplessness that come to dominate the husband’s role. As his remarkable account reaches its finale in Siberia, however, Hansen’s once again becomes the story of a husband and a wife who, even after years of medical frustration and fruitless paperwork, still must take one last risk together and trust in their most basic instincts before their new family can be born.
"Literary grace that has the remarkable power to act as a lens" is how the New York Times Book Review has described Hansen’s writing, and that grace has never been more evident than in this remarkable memoir.
Advance praise for The Brotherhood of Joseph
In this gentle masterpiece of a book, Brooks Hansen tells the story of becoming a father against great odds. As he and his wife Elizabeth try to conceive and then to adopt, Hansen’s candid, funny, intelligent voice makes the reader a part of this great adventure — a thrilling and hazardous version of the journey which all parents take as they travel from yearning for a child to caring for a child. This is a book about two intrepid and loving parents and their child; it’s a book for all parents and all children.
— Susan Cheever, author of As Good As I Could Be
The Brotherhood of Joseph is not only a wise and poignant account of Brooks Hansen’s long and fascinating journey to fatherhood: it is also a love story about his wife, whom he met in childhood. With equal parts wit and anguish, he crafts a tale as riveting as a fine mystery. There are an abundance of stories written from adoptive mothers point of view, but The Brotherhood of Joseph is a rare find. Written with a voice part sage, part comedian, this book is a real love story that will appeal to anybody who is a parent or yearns to be one.
— Patty Dann, author of The Baby Boat: A Memoir of Adoption
Fastidiously honest and heroically feisty, The Brotherhood of Joseph roars—yes, that’s the word—with all that makes us human: desire, doubt, vulnerability, love, the love roaring loudest of all. It’s a heartrending story delivered in breathtaking prose. It is, in simplest terms, an achievement.
— Beth Kephart, author of A Slant of the Sun: One Child’s Courage
Pain and redemption are abundant in the journey that Brooks Hansen and his wife take to become parents. The Brotherhood of Joseph is really two journeys: the first through a maze of infertility treatments that leaves the young couple heartbroken (and broke), the second into the nerve-wracking uncertainties of international adoption. That one leads them to Moscow — and to a shocking twist that readers will react to in strong and dramatically different ways. For anyone who's gone on either journey — and for those contemplating the trip – The Brotherhood of Joseph is a compelling — and wrenching — read.
— Michael Shnayerson, Contributing Editor Vanity Fair
…Both a helpful guide for infertile couples and a personal memoir appealing to any empathetic reader. The title tips its hat to Joseph, adoptive father of Jesus, and the much-covered subject of infertility does indeed benefit from the addition of a male perspective. A tender, humorous account of as couple’s struggle to start a family.
Publisher's Weekly recommends as well.