This is a book that can be read in one sitting, slowly devoured over multiple sessions, or opened periodically at a random essay to find some bizarre, whimsical, yet realistic and refreshing gem. Somehow this book manages to feel both sacred and sacrilegious, making for a beautiful marriage of the two. Perfect for mothers, the mother-adjacent, or anyone fascinated by the strange world of children.
In paperback at last: Rivka Galchen’s beloved baby bible—slyly hilarious, surprising, and absolutely essential reading for anyone who has ever had, held, or been a baby
In this enchanting miscellany, Galchen notes that literature has more dogs than babies (and also more abortions), that the tally of children for many great women writers—Jane Bowles, Elizabeth Bishop, Virginia Woolf, Janet Frame, Willa Cather, Patricia Highsmith, Iris Murdoch, Djuna Barnes, Mavis Gallant—is zero, that orange is the new baby pink, that The Tale of Genji has no plot but plenty of drama about paternity, that babies exude an intoxicating black magic, and that a baby is a goldmine.
About the Author
RIVKA GALCHEN's 2008 first novel, Atmospheric Disturbances, and her 2014 story collection, American Innovations, were both New York Times Best Books of the Year. She has received many awards, as well as an MD from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Galchen lives in New York City.
Galchen does something more profound than tackle motherhood; she utterly reinvents and reanimates the subject. — Christopher Bollen - Interview Magazine
Witty and delightfully intelligent. — Carolyn Kellogg - Los Angeles Times
A quietly revolutionary little book. — The Millions
Everything one could possibly need is dispensed via dense, tiny, mysterious pellets—a fortified shot of literary enrichment we didn't even know we needed, but that now feels vital and enthralling. — The New Republic
A highly original book: I adore Galchen's quiet and bravery. I am confident that many mothers (and other
sleepless readers) will pick up this book and feel that they have found an
unexpectedly intimate friend. — The New York Times Book Review
Not your mother’s motherhood lit. Brief, gemlike reflections on adjusting to
life under the rule of a baby daughter (called ‘the puma’): it's a book that will ring both familiar and
strange. — NPR (Best Books of the Year)