Synopses & Reviews
A book that challenges the word "powerful" and obliterates it
Written in searing prose, this is the story of two boys: Erik, who performs miracles, and Thorn, who hears voices. The book chronicles their lives as their minds devolve into hallucinations, and shows the way their worlds intersect, culminating in a final stand-off.
This debut novel offer a raw, insightful look at the forces that compel us to act against our will. Even more so, it captivates and dares us to look away, knowing full well we can't.
Advance praise for FELL OF DARK:
Here is a book built of darkness and gleam, of raw emotion and shattering poetry, of harrowing compulsions and zero compromise. Patrick Downes possesses blazing, beautiful, terrifying talent. His characters walk the shadows. His language bursts like sky.”Beth Kephart, National Book Award nominee and author of Small Damages
Patrick Downes is a writer in the metamodernist style. He is utterly brilliant, and so honest and sincere it hurts.”Martine Leavitt, National Book Award nominee for Keturah and Lord Death
Luminous and pure. A masterwork of astonishing authority and beauty.”Julie Berry, author of All the Truth Thats In Me
“Impossible to put down.” Boston Globe
“Powerful [and] harrowing.” Entertainment Weekly
“Ms. Shriver takes a calculated risk . . . but the gamble pays off as she strikes a tone of compelling intimacy.” Wall Street Journal
“An underground feminist hit.” New York Observer
“A slow, magnetic descent into hell that is as fascinating as it is disturbing.” Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Furiously imagined.” Seattle Times
“Shriver handles this material, with its potential for cheap sentiment and soap opera plot, with rare skill and sense.” Newark Star Ledger
Advance praise for FELL OF DARK:
“Here is a book built of darkness and gleam, of raw emotion and shattering poetry, of harrowing compulsions and zero compromise. Patrick Downes possesses blazing, beautiful, terrifying talent. His characters walk the shadows. His language bursts like sky.”—Beth Kephart, National Book Award nominee
“Patrick Downes is a writer in the metamodernist style. He is utterly brilliant, and so honest and sincere it hurts.”—Martine Leavitt, National Book Award nominee for Keturah and Lord Death
“Luminous and pure. A masterwork of astonishing authority and beauty.”—Julie Berry, author of All the Truth Thats In Me
"After Birth is a voluptuous, hilarious, scaldingly and exhilaratingly honest account of new motherhood, emotional exile, and the complex romance of female friendship. I'm a huge Elisa Albert fan, and in her latest she has perfected a tonal pivot that whips the reader from laughter to revelation in a sentence."
—Karen Russell, author of Sleep Donation and Swamplandia!
"A deep, funny novel about the terrors and exhilarations of love in all its forms. Elisa Albert writes with startling clarity and furious wit about marriage, motherhood and friendship, illuminating these familiar landscapes with lightning flashes of revelation."
—Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation
"After Birth is a fast-talking, opinionated, moody, funny, and slightly desperate account of the attempt to recover from having a baby. It is a romp through dangerous waters, in which passages of hilarity are shadowed by the dark nights of earliest motherhood, those months so tremulous with both new love and the despairing loss of one's identity—to read it is an absorbing, entertaining, and thought-provoking experience."
—Lydia Davis, author of Can't and Won't
"Bukowski wrote that he preferred people who scream when they burn, and nobody burns, or screams, like Elisa Albert—a fiercely intelligent, dark and funny woman unafraid of her own anger."
—Shalom Auslander, author of Hope: A Tragedy
"Elisa Albert in a nutshell: funny, self-aware, and genuinely fearless that she might be a lunatic, or a genius, or both."
—Emily Gould, The Awl
Now a major motion picture by Lynne Ramsay, starring Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly,Lionel Shrivers resonant story of a mothers unsettling quest to understandher teenage sons deadly violence, her own ambivalence toward motherhood, andthe explosive link between them reverberates with the haunting power of highhopes shattered by dark realities. Like Shrivers charged and incisive laternovels, including So Much for That and The Post-Birthday World, We Need to Talk About Kevin isa piercing, unforgettable, and penetrating exploration of violence, familyties, and responsibility, a book that the Boston Globe describes as“sometimes searing . . . [and] impossible to put down.”
Eva never really wanted to be a mother—and certainly not the mother of a boy who ends up murdering seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevins horrific rampage, in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.
A widely acclaimed young writer's fierce new novel, in which childbirth and new motherhood are as high-stakes a crucible as any combat zone.
A widely acclaimed young writer’s fierce new novel, in which childbirth and new motherhood are as high stakes a proving ground as any combat zone
A year has passed since Ari gave birth to Walker, though it went so badly awry she has trouble calling it “birth” and still she can't locate herself in her altered universe. Amid the strange, disjointed rhythms of her days and nights and another impending winter in upstate New York, Ari is a tree without roots, struggling to keep her branches aloft.
When Mina, a one-time cult musician — older, self-contained, alone, and nine-months pregnant —moves to town, Ari sees the possibility of a new friend, despite her unfortunate habit of generally mistrusting women. Soon they become comrades-in-arms, and the previously hostile terrain seems almost navigable.
With piercing insight, purifying anger, and outrageous humor, Elisa Albert issues a wake-up call to a culture that turns its new mothers into exiles, and expects them to act like natives. Like Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin and Anne Enright’s The Gathering, this is a daring and resonant novel from one of our most visceral writers.
About the Author
Lionel Shrivers books include So Much for That, The Post-Birthday World, A Perfectly Good Family, Game Control, Double Fault, The Female of the Species, Checker and the Derailleurs, and Ordinary Decent Criminals. She writes frequently for the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and The Independent. She lives in London and Brooklyn, New York.