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About the book
  • Published: 2 April 2015
  • ISBN: 9781448190768
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 208
Categories:

After Birth




A short, fierce explosion of a novel about being a woman, in which childbirth and new motherhood are as high stakes a crucible as any combat zone

Sometimes I’m with the baby and I think: you’re my heart and my soul, and I would die for you. Other times I think: tiny moron, leave me the fuck alone


A year has passed since Ari gave birth and still she can’t locate herself in her altered universe. Sleep-deprived, lonely and unprepared, she struggles through the strange, disjointed rhythms of her days and nights. Her own mother long dead and her girlhood friendships faded, she is a woman in need. When Mina – older, alone, pregnant – moves to town, Ari sees hope of a comrade-in-arms. Perhaps the hostile terrain could be more easily navigable together.


With purifying anger and outrageous humour, Elisa Albert unleashes on a culture that turns its new mothers into exiles, and expects them to act like natives. And as she defines the raw experience of motherhood, Albert offers a hilarious and devastatingly honest examination of how we become the women we are.

  • Pub date: 2 April 2015
  • ISBN: 9781448190768
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 208

Praise for After Birth

“Elisa Albert’s brilliant new novel…It’s obscene, reckless, vicious, hilarious and above all real…it ought to be as essential as ‘The Red Badge of Courage.’…Albert has inherited the house Grace Paley built, with its narrow doorways just wide enough for wit and tragedy and blistering, exasperated love.”

New York Times Book Review

“Albert has given us a portrait of modern motherhood that will provide insight for some and provoke others. For others still, in its quieter moments, as it reaches for an honest way to talk about birth, it will be like that big old bell ringing in them, a reading process of recognition and reunion”

Rozalind Dineen, Guardian

“A voluptuous, hilarious, scaldingly and exhilaratingly honest account of new motherhood, emotional exile, and the complex romance of female friendship. I'm a huge Elisa Albert fan, and in her latest she has perfected a tonal pivot that whips the reader from laughter to revelation in a sentence.”

Karen Russell

“After Birth is a fast-talking, opinionated, moody, funny and slightly desperate account of the attempt to recover from having a baby. it is a romp through dangerous waters, in which passages of hilarity are shadowed by the dark nights of earliest motherhood, those months so tremulous with both new love and the despairing loss of one's identity - to read it is an absorbing, entertaining, and thought-provoking experience..”

Lydia Davis

“A novel piercingly honest and funny, written from the heart, that takes us through a journey of physical trauma and psychological truth.”

Xiaolu Guo

“An entertaining take on the vicissitudes of female friendship”

Carmela Ciuraru, New York Times

“This explosive, angry, hilarious novel is the most accurate description of having a baby that I have read”

Kate Saunders, The Times

“Captures our time with bracing, propulsive energy and brilliant honesty...Albert creates a deeply resonant and empathetic reading experience...exhilarating...Albert is virtuosic in capturing and maintaining barely concealed fury.”

Jessica Roake, Washington Post

“A deep, funny novel about the terrors and exhilarations of love in all its forms. Elisa Albert writes with startling clarity and furious wit about marriage, motherhood and friendship, illuminating these familiar landscapes with lightening flashes of illumination.”

Jenny Offill

“Bukowski wrote that he preferred people who scream when they burn, and nobody burns, or screams, like Elisa Albert - a fiercely intelligent, dark and funny woman unafraid of her own anger.”

Shalom Auslander

“visceral...the novel lands plenty of shocks through Albert's caustic presentation of the battleground of giving birth and society's patronisingly anti-feminist treatment of mothers”

Sunday Times

“A visceral, raw, no-holds-barred account of the assault on the self that is first-time motherhood, this had me wincing (and laughing) in recognition. It’s very, very funny”

Bookseller

“Outrageous, funny and visceral”

Viv Groskop, Red

“This book takes your essay about 'likeable female characters', writes FUCK YOU on it in menstrual blood, then sets it on fire. Then sets YOU on fire! Then giggles, then makes s'mores over your smouldering corpse. ”

Emily Gould

“With After Birth, Elisa Albert has proven herself to be not only one of our most important novelists, but one of our most honest feminists. Darkly funny and impossibly wise, Albert creates a visceral sense of entrapment, a spot-on account of life as a woman. After Birth is dangerous, gripping, and essential - The Bell Jar of our time.”

Diana Spechler

“Challenging, humorous and – tentatively – uplifting, it goes far beyond the usual explorations of what it is to be a mother”

New Statesman

“Albert has made a novel that approaches depression and maternal anxiety with candid honesty, transforming writing on motherhood forever”

Aaron Calvin, AskMen UK

“A hilarious, honest, and eye-opening book, this is a must have for any new mum or mum-to-be”

Mummy Pages

“Funny and heartfelt”

i (The paper for today)


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