After Birth is at once an intimate and original tale of new motherhood, and a larger, vitriolic critique of the birth industry. It is an exploration, too, of the sometimes tragic failure of female friendship. Ari is a narrator full of rage – at times difficult to love, but always very, very funny and insightful. Highly recommended!— Morgan
“Captures our time with bracing propulsive energy and brilliant honesty . . . Albert is virtuosic.” — Washington Post
Ari is isolated with a one-year-old son in a decayed upstate New York town. Then Mina appears, pregnant and alone. Suddenly there is the possibility of connection, and soon the two are comrades-in-arms, navigating the hostile terrain of new motherhood together. Acclaimed for its insight, outrageous humor, and power to spark fierce debate, After Birth is a daring and transformative novel about friendship, history, and the body.
“Vicious, hilarious, and above all real.” —New York Times Book Review
“Boils with dark humor and brutal honesty.” —People
“Funny as hell . . . Enlightening, sharply moving, and true.” —Star Tribune
“A smartly acerbic exploration.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“Edgy . . . Like Lorrie Moore . . . cracked open.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
About the Author
ELISA ALBERT, author of The Book of Dahlia and a collection of short stories, has written for NPR, Tin House, Commentary,Salon, and the Rumpus. She grew up in Los Angeles and now lives in upstate New York with her family.
Winner of the 2016 Paterson Fiction Prize One of NPR's "Best Books of 2015" One of Bustle's "2015’s 25 Best Books, Fiction Edition" An Electric Literature "Best Novel of 2015" One of HelloGiggles's "23 Books from 2015 You Absolutely Must Read" One of Brooklyn Magazine's "12 Best Books of 2015 that Didn’t Get Enough Attention" A People Pick March 2015 One of O, The Oprah Magazine's "10 Titles to Pick Up Now" One of Publishers Lunch's "Favorite Books of 2015, From the News Editor" “Elisa Albert’s brilliant new novel…It’s obscene, reckless, vicious, hilarious and above all real…it ought to be as essential as ‘The Red Badge of Courage.’…Albert has inherited the house Grace Paley built, with its narrow doorways just wide enough for wit and tragedy and blistering, exasperated love…” —Merritt Tierce, the New York Times Book Review "Albert's scathing send-up of modern motherhood boils with dark humor and brutal honesty." —People "A smartly acerbic exploration of motherhood." —O, The Oprah Magazine "Elisa Albert's take on birth, motherhood and female relationships is the antithesis of the treacly cliches that so often surround these well-trod subjects. Her story is messy, devastating and raw — deeply felt and deftly told. Through the experience of Ari, a hard-core feminist party girl/academic, Albert explores the most difficult part of becoming a mother: the eclipsing of your identity and relationships, and the struggle to find your footing in a completely new world. It will leave you marveling at the power women have to survive, to break each other's hearts and, when we're lucky, to rescue one another." —NPR, "Our Guide To 2015’s Great Reads" "[A] wonderful primal howl of a novel." —Sam Sacks, the Wall Street Journal "An entertaining take on the vicissitudes of female friendship" —The New York Times “In its unremitting coarseness and ferocity, her language takes the sentimental platitudes that all mothers are fed (lies!) and spits them back with purifying fury.” —The Washington Post "Albert has given us a portrait of modern motherhood that will provide insight for some and provoke others. For others still, in its quieter moments, as it reaches for an honest way to talk about birth, it will be like that big old bell ringing in them, a reading process of recognition and reunion." —The Guardian "After Birth roars with the anger of betrayal. Albert is abrasive and sharp, intelligent and painfully real. There is no room for gentleness in her novel, no time to waste looking for a kinder way of speaking. [It's] looking for a fight, it’s unladylike, it’s pissed off, and it’s going to tear everything you thought about birth and motherhood to shreds." —Jeva Lange, Electric Literature "Albert [has a] light touch, comic timing, and [an] ability to move effortlessly between registers...After Birth is a political novel, and a feminist novel. It’s full of anger and frustration and heartache. It is also hilarious and entertaining...fresh and daring." —Alexis Nelson, The Los Angeles Review of Books "Albert’s novel is an unflinching look at the trials and tribulations of new motherhood, yes, but also the realities of being a woman and the atten —