|FICTION / Contemporary Women
|FICTION / Family Life
|FICTION / General
|FICTION / Satire
|8.00in x 5.18in x 0.71in
|From The Publisher*
|LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/HEMINGWAY AWARD FOR DEBUT NOVEL
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY AV CLUB, VULTURE, ESQUIRE AND LITERARY HUB
One day, the mother was a mother, but then one night, she was quite suddenly something else...
In this blazingly smart and voracious debut, an artist turned stay-at-home mom becomes convinced she's turning into a dog.
An ambitious mother puts her art career on hold to stay at home with her newborn son, but the experience does not match her imagination. Two years later, she steps into the bathroom for a break from her toddler's demands, only to discover a dense patch of hair on the back of her neck. In the mirror, her canines suddenly look sharper than she remembers. Her husband, who travels for work five days a week, casually dismisses her fears from faraway hotel rooms.
As the mother's symptoms intensify, and her temptation to give into her new dog impulses peak, she struggles to keep her alter-canine-identity secret. Seeking a cure at the library, she discovers the mysterious academic tome which becomes her bible, "A Field Guide to Magical Women: A Mythical Ethnography," and meets a group of mommies involved in a multi-level-marketing scheme who may also be more than what they seem.
An outrageously original novel of ideas about art, power and womanhood wrapped in a satirical fairy tale, Nightbitch will make you want to howl in laughter and recognition. And you should. You should howl as much as you want.
|"Yoder's clever, empathetic and very funny book upturns familiar archetypes."
"A feral, unholy marriage of Tillie Olsen and Kafka-Nightbitch is an incredible feat."
-Carmen Maria Machado, New York Times bestselling author of Her Body and Other Parties and In the Dream House
"A high wire act of a novel that expertly balances the uncanny and quotidian moments of early motherhood. Yoder's writing is graceful, funny and unnerving as hell."
-JENNY OFFILL, New York Times bestselling author of Weather and Dept. of Speculation
"I could not love a novel more than Rachel Yoder's Nightbitch. It's such a uniquely brilliant book, one that looks at the intersection of motherhood and art, the terror of 'a thousand artless afternoons'. It is so wonderfully observant, so precise, and yet manages to expand and expand upon those initial concerns, turning magical, dark, and funny."
-KEVIN WILSON, New York Times bestselling author of Nothing to See Here
"[A] wily and unrestrained debut. . . You can feel Yoder breaking loose, too, like she's just self-injected a serum mixed with her protagonist's blood . . . With its endorsement of a magical text as more cathartic than any mommy memoir, Nightbitch makes the case for itself, and for fiction that expands motherhood into new, surreal dimensions. I've seen myself in all the clever, recondite novels of beleaguered mothers. The moaning and groaning, the searching and yearning are real. Yoder sees a new way into the baser kinks of our animal selves, the ineffable bodily transformation of a woman into a mother. What is fiction for, if not blowing life up into the freakish myth it appears to be?"
-The New Yorker
"[Nightbitch] might well be the debut of the year. A feral fairy tale of maternal dissatisfaction, it's best to go into this one knowing as little possible, the better to let Yoder work her devious magic on you."
-Chicago Review of Books
"Yoder's guttural and luminous debut blends absurdism, humor, and myth to lay bare the feral, violent realities underlying a new mother's existence… Bursting with fury, loneliness, and vulgarity, Yoder's narrative revels in its deconstruction of the social script women and mothers are taught to follow, painstakingly reading between the lines to expose the cruel and downright ludicrous ways in which women are denied their personhood. An electric work by an ingenious new voice, this is one to devour."
-Publishers Weekly *starred review*
"Yoder explores familiar themes through an inventive conceit, literalizing the surrealness of motherhood with dark humor and a keen sense of irony."
-The New York Times Book Review
"If you have ever been the primary parent of a small child, reading Rachel Yoder's debut novel, 'Nightbitch,' may feel as if the author stuck her hand into your brain and rummaged around. Yoder has a powerful understanding of the alienation that can set in for stay-at-home mothers and others. . .Unforgettable…No one should take ['Nightbitch'] for granted."
-The Washington Post
"Filled with wickedly smart observations and hilarious - and heartbreaking - moments."
"Be warned - the novel is dark, gory, violent. But 'Nightbitch' is fantastically rendered. Yoder's voice is razor-sharp, poignant and wry. While it's seeped in mythical qualities, the haunting premise doesn't seem that far-fetched. 'Nightbitch' is a stunning modern feminist fable that shouldn't be missed."
-The Seattle Times
"Rather than childbirth twisted into hideous shapes by the male artistic eye, in this book art crawls out of motherhood with an exhausted, sweating, blood-strewn, but joyous howl. . . Creativity and motherhood don't need to be at each other's throats, like vampires or zombies. In 'Nightbitch' they feed in the same night on the same wild prey."
-The Boston Globe
"This book is part feminist indictment of the impossible state America's mothers find themselves in, and part meditation on maternal fulfillment and rage. It's also entirely bonkers and entirely relatable, perfectly capturing that impetus toward destruction you feel after everything else has been drained from you."
"A darkly funny, often insightful dive into the competitive relationship and mutually generative potential between art and motherhood and the animalism underlying procreation and child-rearing. . . A battle hymn as novel about sinking your teeth into the available options for self-determination and ripping them to shreds."
|RACHEL YODER is a founding editor of draft: the journal of process. She holds MFAs from the University of Arizona (fiction) and the University of Iowa (nonfiction), where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow. Her stories and essays have been published in literary journals such as The Kenyon Review and The Missouri Review, as well as national outlets such as The New York Times, The Sun, and Lit Hub. She lives in Iowa City with her husband and son.