A few years ago, my sister-in-law Joan Rater told me that she was going to participate in "Afterbirth," which runs some Sunday nights in Los Angeles. She was going to read a piece she'd written about adopting her second child. Joan told me about the piece, which sounded great. Then six months ago, she told me that hers and other pieces from the show were being published by St. Martin's Press in a collection called "Afterbirth." It's edited by Dani Klein Modisett, who created and directed the stage show. I have now read it. Of course I like Joan's piece best. The book does feature a wide array of writers (Rick Cleveland, Matthew Weiner, among others) and actors (Caroline Aaron, Mo Gaffney, Peter Horton, among others). It's all a foreign land to me, since I don't have any children. There are a very wide range of voices in the 36 pieces, and it is very refreshing in that the essays don't pull any punches. If you're looking for warm and fuzzy parenting tips, this ain't it. It is a broad consideration of what it means to be a parent now.