Alexa Stevenson

A book that opens with a graphic description of the author’s in vitro fertilization faces some major obstacles in appealing to readers. When it goes on to detail the in-utero death of one of the author’s twin fetuses, the 15-weeks-early birth of her surviving daughter, and the family’s subsequent months in the hospital, one has to wonder if perhaps the memoir was underwritten by antidepressant manufacturers. But Alexa Stevenson, Minnesota author of Half Baked (Running Press, $14.95), finds humor along with poignancy in this difficult material. You might not think there’s anything funny about the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, but when Stevenson describes her experience as “the zombie movie of pregnancies,” you’ll change your mind. That’s not to say there aren’t tearjerker moments, but when you raise your tissue to your eyes at this reading, you’re just as likely to be crying from laughter as sadness. REBECCA COHEN

Thu., Aug. 19, 7 p.m., 2010

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