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  • Tissue
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Madison Griffiths

What does it mean to terminate a pregnancy?

In Tissue, Madison Griffiths turns her keen eye to the topic of abortion in a meditative and personal look at a procedure that is common yet vilified, championed yet sometimes grieved. Tissue looks at the feelings of guilt around choice, exploring the language we use, or don’t, and how the silence shapes the way we think and feel about the act.

Abortion has many facets. Tissue lays each of them bare, meticulously unravelling how the world-at-large responds to abortion, inviting us into the messy and complex realities imbedded in such a politicised act of agency. At a time when women around the world are losing their right to access safe abortion, this book is needed more than ever.

About the Author

Madison Griffiths is a writer, artist and producer based in Melbourne. She is the co-producer of Tender, an award-winning Broadwave podcast that follows what happens in the aftermath of abusive relationships. Her essays have been published widely in the Guardian, SBS, VICE, Meanjin, Kill Your Darlings and more. In 2022, she won the Our Watch Award as administered by the Walkley Foundation for Excellence in Reporting on Violence Against Women and Children. 


‘Griffiths writes with literary flourish as she unpicks ideas around gender, femininity, guilt and motherhood, delving into how all of this impacts pregnant people in a world where abortion rights are often murky and increasingly politicised.’ The Guardian


‘there’s nothing self-indulgent here, for in language both tender and raw, she imaginatively examines herself, the complexity of her responses ... society, sexuality, family and gender with remarkable honesty’ – Sydney Morning Herald


Tissue contains moments of great beauty and clarity, sentences that had me gasping, hand over mouth, in which I felt seen. This book has a tremendous heft, a combination of muscularity and verve’ – Inside Story


‘Tissue is well-researched and bold, challenging readers to think beyond the lenses of morality and shame through which abortion is often viewed. Griffiths writes compellingly about the racial and environmental implications of abortion access, while reflecting on her lived experiences. Her work shows how powerful literature can be as a tool for reckoning with complex personal and social realities.’ – Amani Haydar, author of The Mother Wound


‘At its heart, Tissue is a book about selfhood, and all of the decisions that we make, or attempt to make, in order to become ourselves. It is about the stories and forces that attempt to limit this – especially those surrounding gender and sexuality – and how the choice to end a pregnancy might force a reckoning with them. Griffiths’ essays are wide-ranging, defiant and impassioned, and incredibly current too.’ – Fiona Wright, author of The World Was Whole


‘A sincere book that curiously and compassionately makes a compelling case for love and choice.’ – Gina Rushton, author of The Most Important Job in the World


‘Fierce, poetic and unflinching, Griffiths pulls no punches as she explores what it looks like to find and honour your agency.’ – Lucinda Price


‘With smart, beautifully written discussion, Griffiths lays bare the discourse of privilege and choice, addressing what it is to go up against the cultural expectations and condemnations put to those who exercise their human right to choose...’ – Books+Publishing


‘an exploration of the complex emotions and responses arising from a termination’ – The Saturday Paper




Pub Date
July 2023




Abortion and gender, abortion and the body, abortion and trauma, abortion and class, abortion and choice, abortion and the climate emergency, abortion and love, and abortion and queerness.