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Scribner Book Company

The Book of Mother

The Book of Mother

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A New York Times Notable Book
A Library Journal Best Book of 2021

A "marvelous...superbly effective" (The New Yorker) debut novel about a young woman coming of age with a dazzling yet damaged mother who lived and loved in extremes.

Met by rave reviews in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and more, this stunning translation of Violaine Huisman's "witty, immersive autofiction showcases a Parisian childhood with a charismatic, depressed parent" (Oprah Daily). Beautiful and magnetic, Catherine, a.k.a. "Maman," smokes too much, drives too fast, laughs too hard, and loves too extravagantly, and her daughter Violaine wouldn't have it any other way.

But when Maman is hospitalized after a third divorce and a breakdown, everything changes. Even as Violaine and her sister long for their mother's return, once she's back Maman's violent mood swings and flagrant disregard for personal boundaries soon turn their home into an emotional landmine. As the story of Catherine's own traumatic childhood and adolescence unfolds, the pieces come together to form an indelible portrait of a mother as irresistible as she is impossible, as triumphant as she is transgressive.

With spectacular ferocity of language, a streak of dark humor, and stunning emotional bravery, The Book of Mother is an exquisitely wrought story of a mother's dizzying heights and devastating lows, and a daughter who must hold her memory close in order to surrender, and finally move on.

Author: Violaine Huisman
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Published: 10/19/2021
Pages: 224
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 0.68lbs
Size: 8.71h x 5.91w x 0.80d
ISBN: 9781982108786
Award: Man Booker International Prize - Nominee

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal 09/01/2021 pg. 4
Publishers Weekly 08/09/2021
Kirkus Reviews 08/15/2021
Booklist 09/01/2021 pg. 34

About the Author
Violaine Huisman was born in Paris in 1979 and has lived and worked in New York for twenty years, where she ran the Brooklyn Academy of Music's literary series and also organized multidisciplinary arts festivals across the city. Originally published by Gallimard under the title Fugitive parce que reine, her debut novel The Book of Mother was awarded multiple literary prizes including the Prix Françoise Saga and the Prix Marie Claire.

Leslie Camhi is a New York-based essayist and cultural journalist who writes for The New York Times, Vogue, and other publications. She is a frequent contributor to artists' monographs and museum catalogues. The Book of Mother is her first book-length translation.
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