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Childless Mother: A Search for Son and Self

Tracy Mayo

1970, pre-Choice America. After their eighth move in her thirteen short years, the lonely only child of a high-ranking naval officer and a socially ambitious mother, Tracy Mayo longed for a normal adolescence - to have friends, to feel rooted. What she got was a pregnancy at fourteen and exile to a maternity home. There, she bore not only a child but also the weight of the culture's shame. She was required to surrender her baby boy at birth and pretend it never happened. Twenty-two years later, her longing undiminished, Tracy set out to find him - and perhaps, through her search, to reclaim her self. Are we moving back to a world where women have no agency, stripped of control of their bodies and their futures? More than fifty years after one frightened, grief-stricken young mother was ordered to forget, Tracy's story is even more important to remember.

In her courageous and beautifully rendered memoir, Childless Mother, Tracy Mayo breaks ranks with the institutionalized secrecy, shame, and silencing that shattered countless pregnant girls and young women prior to legalized abortion and open adoption. 
- KATE MOSES, author of Wintering, Cakewalk: A Memoir, and Mothers Who Think

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Tracy Mayo has two degrees from Duke University. After a homesteading experiment, she embarked on a thirty-year career in commercial construction management, as a trailblazing woman in a man's world. She is a 2020/2021 artist-in-residence at Craigardan and an alumnus of the Bookgardan writing program. Her writing has appeared at Aspen Summer Words' juried workshops, in Heimat Review, and in The Ocotillo Review. Tracy lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband and Flat-Coated Retriever.