By Elisa Albert
Houghton Mifflin, Hardcover, 9780544273733, 208pp.
Publication Date: February 17, 2015
A widely acclaimed young writer's fierce new novel, in which childbirth and new motherhood are as high stakes a proving ground as any combat zone
A year has passed since Ari gave birth to Walker, though it went so badly awry she has trouble calling it birth and still she can't locate herself in her altered universe. Amid the strange, disjointed rhythms of her days and nights and another impending winter in upstate New York, Ari is a tree without roots, struggling to keep her branches aloft.
When Mina, aone-time cult musician older, self-contained, alone, and nine-months pregnant moves to town, Ari sees the possibility of a new friend, despite her unfortunate habit of generally mistrusting women. Soon theybecome comrades-in-arms, and the previously hostile terrain seems almost navigable.
With piercing insight, purifying anger, and outrageous humor, Elisa Albert issues a wake-up call to a culture that turns its new mothers into exiles, and expects them to act like natives. Like Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk About Kevin and Anne Enright's The Gathering, this is adaring andresonant novel from one of our most visceral writers.
"We are pitted against each other and ultimately, then, are pitted against ourselves," says writer Elisa Albert. Her new novel is about the singular and universal experience of having a baby. More at NPR.org
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