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Nightbitch: Book summary and reviews of Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder

Nightbitch

by Rachel Yoder

Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder X
Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder
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  • Published Jul 2021
    256 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

In this blazingly smart and voracious debut, an artist turned stay-at-home mom becomes convinced she's turning into a dog.

One day, the mother was a mother, but then one night, she was quite suddenly something else...

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 in to 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 multilevel-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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Yoder's guttural and luminous debut blends absurdism, humor, and myth to lay bare the feral, violent realities underlying a new mother's existence...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)

"Though at points this novel can read as if ticking boxes from a list of notes cribbed from an internet moms' group, it remains 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." - Kirkus Reviews

"The ideas in Nightbitch may not be new but they're given renewed urgency by the story...There is astonishing skill and dexterity here; the story retains the graceful distance of the fable but has far more stream of consciousness and social observation than we expect in a fairytale." - The Guardian

"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 feral, unholy marriage of Tillie Olsen and Kafka—Nightbitch is an incredible feat." - Carmen Maria Machado

"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

This information about Nightbitch was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Rachel Yoder

Rachel Yoder is a founding editor of draft: the journal of process. She holds M.F.As 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.

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