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Can you remember an novel featuring male lactation?
January 21, 2014 5:14 PM   Subscribe

I remember a scene in a novel featuring male lactation, but I can't remember what novel it's from. Description inside.

From what I remember, a man is left alone with a baby. I seem to recall the two are in the wilderness alone. The baby is crying and starving to death and the man is pretty distraught. Then he starts lactating. He is happy, but also distraught at the whole milk from his chest thing. I seem to remember the chapter ending with his expression of dismay right as he figured out what was happening.

I read it over 10 years ago so it's at least that old. I cannot remember any other details from the book right now. There's a chance it was in a book from a Native American author, but I am not sure. I don't think it was a particularly obscure book.

Any ideas? Hopefully I didn't dream this up.
posted by cuban link flooded jesus to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
It happens near the end of Illywhacker by Peter Carey. Possibly not what you want, though, and I don't remember if he actually breastfeeds.
posted by Shane at 6:00 PM on January 21


Something similar happens in one of the Viking sagas, as I recall, although I think the guy more like hacked at his own chest until 'blood and clear fluid' ran from it, and he nursed the baby on that.
posted by The otter lady at 6:15 PM on January 21


Could it be The Antelope Wife? Pretty sure there's a male lactation bit in that.
posted by daisystomper at 6:46 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Seconding the Antelope Wife by Louise Erdrich
posted by Hypatia at 7:47 PM on January 21


Yes, I think it's the antelope wife!

Fits the Native American theme I was recalling and also fit the timeline of when I thought I read the book. Must be it! I would have never ever remembered that I even read that, let alone connected it to this vague memory. Thanks!
posted by cuban link flooded jesus at 8:06 PM on January 21


The section of the novel Antelope Wife featuring male lactation also appears in excerpt/as a short story in Erdrich's collection "The Red Cadillac". Maybe you read it there.

Love that book and that passage!!
posted by dahliachewswell at 10:02 PM on January 21


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