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America’s most acclaimed writers express the confusion, elation, apprehension, and joy of pregnancy and childbirth.

Mothers and fathers now face the usual anxieties about difficult pregnancies, financial planning, and the inevitable Lamaze classes, alongside new worries about balancing the professional and artistic goals of two independent parents with the responsibilities of parenthood, struggles with fertility and modern fertility treatments, and explaining a pregnancy of an untraditional couple–or a single woman–to family and friends.

In this groundbreaking anthology of short fiction…America’s most popular and critically-acclaimed young writers…give voice to the fear, frustration, hope and humor that all play a part in the simultaneously unique and timeless experience of pregnancy in twenty-first-century America.

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Reading these essays is like having a girls’ night out with your best friends—only much, much funnier, and without the hangover the next day.

Getting undressed for the dreaded seventh-grade gym class. Feeling fascinated with, yet disgusted by, the fashion magazines full of perfect, unattainable bodies. Enduring the pain of a bikini wax or suffering the ramifications of overplucked brows.

Like all women, the contributors to The Bigger the Better, the Tighter the Sweater have been there and lived to tell the tale. With laugh-out-loud essays on such topics as the hell of puberty; fashion errors and triumphs; rolls, jiggles, and dimples; the positives and pitfalls of cosmetic surgery; and beauty standards across different races and cultures, readers will feel that they are sitting down with their girlfriends for a funny, honest, and thought-provoking conversation about our complex relationships with our bodies.

With smarts, wit, and style, this collection captures the double bind of beauty and body image that women contend with each day.