Elisa Albert explains that there’s nothing in the whole wide world so awful as having a baby
What’s the most awfullest, horriblest, worstest thing that can happen to a woman?
Why, having a baby, of course!
That’s the theme of After Birth (yes, it’s a pun), the new novel about motherhood by Elisa Albert that the critics are falling all over themselves to heap praise upon like whipped cream on a hot fudge sundae. After Birth has everything book-club-chic you can think of crammed between its covers: Brooklyn (where the heroine, Ari, hails from, natch), a sensitive professor-husband, a witty, transgressive gal-pal, depression spells, women’s studies (Ari’s own academic field), and most prominently of all, the sheer dreadfulness of being a new mother.
Ari had her baby by caesarian section, you see—and you’d think she was the very first woman in the entire world to be forced to endure that nightmare. She describes it:
“They cut me in half, pulled the baby from my numb, gaping cauterized center. Merciless hospital lights, curtain in front of my face. Effective disembodiment. Smell of burning flesh. Sewn back up again by a team of people I didn’t know, none of whom bothered to look me in the eye, not even once of them, not even once. Severed from hip to hip, iced, brutalized, catheterized, tethered to a bed, the tiny birdy’s heartfelt shrieks as they carted him off somewhere hell itself.”
Posted by Charlotte Allen