After Birth

After Birth

eBook - 2015
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A fierce novel about the postpartum experience filled with "dark humor and brutal honesty" ( People ) .

A year has passed since Ari gave birth to Walker, though it went so badly awry she has trouble calling it "birth" and she still 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, a one-time cult indie musician--older, self-contained, alone, and nine months pregnant--moves to town, Ari sees the possibility of a new friend. And despite her unfortunate habit of generally mistrusting other females, they soon become comrades-in-arms . . .

With piercing insight about the isolation and unrealistic expectations suffered by new mothers in our society, After Birth is about pregnancy and childbirth that is "vicious, hilarious, and above all real" ( The New York Times Book Review ).

"[A] scaldingly and exhilaratingly honest account of new motherhood, emotional exile, and the complex romance of female friendship." --Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!

Publisher: 2015
ISBN: 9780544273306
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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HCL_staff_reviews Mar 05, 2019

A humorously scathing look at motherhood and all of its complications. Ari, a recent Brooklyn transplant, struggles to come to terms with the birth of her first child and her general mistrust of women when Mina, a one-time cult musician now nine months pregnant, moves into town. — Deb G., Plymouth Library

Dec 30, 2015

I loved, loved, loved this book. As soon as I finished it I wanted to go back and read it again. Not just for the story itself, but for Albert's precise and beautiful writing. If I marked up books, this book would be heavily marked - passages circled, sentences double and triple underlined, statements exclaimed!!! This book is about the loneliness of early motherhood, when a new mother desperate for sisterhood, reaches out. But instead of wisdom or companionship she is met with judgment regarding every minute, motherly decision she makes.

Are you a woman, have you ever felt rage and expressed it to uncomprehending faces? Have you ever loved another woman, hated another woman? Have you ever spent a winter in upstate New York? Do you know the lyrics to all the songs on Ani Difranco's first album? You might like this book.

"A baby opens you up, is the problem. There's before and there's after. To live in your body before is one thing. To live in your body after is another. Some deal by attempting to micromanage; some go crazy; some zone right the hell on out. Or all of the above. A blessed few resist any of these, and when you meet her, you'll know immediately by the look in her eyes: weary, humbled, wobbly but still standing. Present, if faintly."

Oct 02, 2015

The only thing I liked about this book is the pretty cover.

nycjackieg Jun 02, 2015

This book was terrible and the protagonist was irritating. We get it! She hated having a baby. She had crushes on equally irritating women, and treated her husband like a doormat. She was a whiner. She liked to use the F word a lot. Next. . .

sdeleo Jun 01, 2015

The great value in this book to me lies in its discussion of what it is like to have a difficult mother and how that negatively impacts relationships with other women throughout your life and the ability to raise your own children. The book is like a fictional companion to any self-help book written by Susan Forward or Peg Streep.

WVMLlibrarianTara Apr 30, 2015

This visceral portrait of a woman haunted by the birth of her child by cesarean section and her struggle to reconstitute her life as a new mother is not for the faint of heart but is filled with dark humour, hard truths and wisdom.

Apr 27, 2015

so disappointing! heard so many good things. i'm sorry, i just could not have any sympathy for the spoiled self involved narrator. i did not find any humor in this story.

redprose Apr 15, 2015

Loved this one! I've always admired female writers who are good at writing male characters, but it was refreshing to read a great book in which the male characters are totally beside the point. Moving as well as funny? I'm in.

manoush Feb 28, 2015

There are many laugh-out-loud sentences in this angry, moving diatribe against the modern pathologization of women's bodies. Albert takes to task both second-wave feminism and the medical industry for disciplining and denying the realities of women's lives and some age-old truths about childbearing and rearing as fundamentally communal, and vital, life pursuits. But sometimes the novel slips too much into ranting mode and not enough into introspective, reflective mode. Still, the writing is brutally honest, fresh, even raw. Albert sounds like a wickedly sharp, brainy high school girl not afraid to express unruly emotions and expose hypocrisies and pieties. A great read with an increasingly rare gift for humor.

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