Synopses & Reviews
A sharp-edged satire of contemporary motherhood from a comic novelist on the rise.
In the hip haven of Portland, Oregon, a pack of unsteady but loyal friends asks what it means to bring babies into an already crowded world.
Sarah studies animal behavior at the zoo. She’s well versed in the mating habits of captive animals, and at the same time she’s desperate to mate, to create sweet little offspring of her own. Georgie is busy with a newborn, while her husband, Humble, finds solace in bourbon and televised violence. Dulcet makes a living stripping down in high school gyms to sell the beauty of sex-ed. Nyla is out to save the world while having trouble saving her own teen daughter, who has discovered the world of drugs and the occult. As these friends and others navigate a space between freedom and intimacy, they realize the families they forge through shared experience are as important as those inherited through birth.
A smart, edgy and poignantly funny exploration of the complexities of what parenthood means today, Monica Drake's second novel demonstrates that when it comes to babies, we can learn a lot by considering our place in the animal kingdom.
Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content.
“Monica Drake has written a take-your-breath-away good, blow-your-mind wise, crack-your-heart-open beauty of a novel. The Stud Book is a smart, sexy, comic, compassionate, absorbing, and necessary story of our times.” Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things
“The Stud Book is a dreamy, druggy, sexy concoction — no surprise coming from the author of Clown Girl. I was instantly consumed by its evocative exploration of motherhood in the Pacific Northwest. Monica Drake's vision of the world is like no other.” Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins and The Melting Season
“Hilarious, heart-wrenching, and stylistically brilliant, The Stud Book is about who we are and why we matter — about our stubborn, beautiful drive to make life, love, a world inhabitable for those who come after us. If women carry whole worlds into unknown futures, Monica Drake is the mapmaker of the human condition.” Lidia Yuknavitch, author of Dora: A Headcase
“What really stands out is her depiction of [the] city. This is not the twee wonderland of Portlandia...Drake combines [her characters’] lives in a quirky, knowing way, showing the complexities of modern-day female life, species Pacific Northwest native.” Publishers Weekly
“The Stud Book is a wild ride full of dark humor...Drake reminds us that we aren’t so different from our animal ancestors: Many of our desires are, and have always been, primal. What we choose to do with these desires, well, that’s what makes us human.” Book Page
“Drake teases out the intersection between theories on parenthood, evolution, sex, and reproduction. The result is a relevant and original story about life and self worth in an increasingly crowded world....Drake’s sharp wit and contemporary take on ecology and adult life make this an entertaining and thought-provoking read.” Booklist
Sarah studies animal behavior at the Oregon Zoo. An expert on the mating habits of captive animals, she is increasingly desperate to create sweet little offspring of her own. Georgie is busy navigating the terrors of new motherhood — from misplaced postpartum painkillers to the potential sublimation of her identity — while her husband finds solace in bourbon and televised violence. (Dead girl on the screen? Take a shot!). Dulcet, defiantly married and childless, makes a living stripping down in high school gyms to sell the beauty of sex-ed. Nyla is out to save the earth while possibly losing her own teen daughter to the world of drugs and the occult. As these friends navigate a space between freedom and intimacy, they realize the families they forge through shared experience are as important as those inherited through birth.
A smart, edgy, and poignantly funny exploration of the complexities of what parenthood means today, The Stud Book demonstrates that when it comes to babies, we can learn a lot by considering our place in the animal kingdom.
About the Author
Monica Drake is the author of Clown Girl (Hawthorne Books), winner of an Eric Hoffer Award and an "IPPY" (Independent Publishers Award). Her essays and short stories have appeared in a variety of journals, and she is a regular contributor to The Oregonian, The Portland Mercury, and the Stranger (Seattle). Monica has an MFA from the University of Arizona and is currently faculty at the Pacific Northwest College of Art.