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Nightbitch (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Generally when I speak of devouring a book I don't have carnage in mind, no rending of flesh with my teeth, but I took this raw, guttural howl of a novel and chewed and swallowed. With intentional detachment between the reader and main character,  the author delves into the meaning of motherhood, of being a woman, in all its bloody beauty and power. The mother (we never learn her name until she becomes Nightbitch) becomes a dog, an animal, a protector, a destroyer. And of course, a performance artist. I found this novel funny, horrifying, but ultimately a fairly accurate depiction of what being a mother in modern society feels like. Or am I just in need of a good howl?

— Robin, Books Inc. Campbell


Featured in most anticipated lists by Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Nylon, Glamour, Harper's Bazaar, the Chicago Tribune, Business Insider, Bustle, Lit Hub, Book Riot, Thrillist, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, B&N Reads, The Millions, the Chicago Review of Books, the Pittsburgh City Paper, and more...​

A feral, unholy marriage of Tillie Olsen and Kafka--Nightbitch is an incredible feat.--CARMEN MARIA MACHADO

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.

About the Author

RACHEL YODER is a founding editor of draft: the journal of process. She holds M.F.A's 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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780385546812
ISBN-10: 0385546815
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Publication Date: July 20th, 2021
Pages: 256
Language: English