My Notorious Life
by Kate Manning
Praise For This Book:
“Not just a splendidly page-turning story of an angry orphan clawing her way up in the world, but a gripping docu-drama about women's business (in several senses) in nineteenth-century America. My Notorious Life gives midwifery its full dues: the glories and the miseries, the feminism and the money, the literally bloody ethical dilemmas. Unflinchingly memorable.” – Emma Donoghue, author of Room

Kate Manning has taken a little known nugget of history and spun it into a remarkable novel that is mesmerizing and resonant. Her New York City of the late nineteenth century is passionately evoked, and Axie Muldoon is as fierce and alive a character as I have read in recent fiction. In its exploration of a subject no less pressing now than it was over a hundred years ago, My Notorious Life is an essential novel for our time.” – Marisa Silver, author of Mary Coin

“My Notorious Life is wonderful fun. The wit and verve of its unsinkable heroine make this novel a delight to read, even in its most harrowing passages. Beyond that, it’s a book that matters—now more than ever. Faithfully true to the time of its setting, it is also extremely relevant to ours." – Madison Smartt Bell, author of The Color of Night

“My Notorious Life is a must read for anyone who likes their novels smart, entertaining and provocative. Axie Muldoon's lively, remarkable story begins with an unexpected death and an identity switch and never lets up until the end. Masterful.” – Whitney Otto, author of Eight Girls Taking Pictures

“A rollicking romp through 19th-century American contraception inspired by the true story of a Manhattan midwife… highlight[s] controversies regarding ‘reproductive health’ that are still raging today. Axie’s profane Irish brogue is vividly recreated… her voice never fails to entertain.” – Kirkus Reviews

"Manning paints a vivid portrait of this daring yet deeply compassionate woman who is willing to flout convention and defy the law in the name of women’s reproductive rights… it’s the details of Madame X’s private life, told in her thick Irish brogue—about the search for her long-lost siblings, her fiery relationship with her devoted husband, and her growth as a mother—that lend a human face to a this sensational figure." – Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Manning's novel is based on the life of Ann Lohman, a New York City midwife… its historical setting and language [are] densely and effectively styled." – The New York Times Book Review

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