Elisa Albert's new novel is After Birth.
From the author's interview with Diana Spechler at Slate:
Even though the book is about motherhood, its central relationship is not between the mother and the child, or even between the mother and her husband. It’s between two young mothers—it’s focused on a friendship.Learn more about the author and her work at Elisa Albert's website.
It’s a precious thing to find a true friend any time in life, but it’s a particularly stark need when you have a new baby. We live in a society where, unless she’s lucky or unique, a woman has a baby on her own. Even if she has a good partner, she doesn’t have the continuous support of a comprehensive community of women. She’s isolated. And that’s a problem. New mothers are extremely vulnerable: You’re sitting on your ass tending to the more or less constant needs of a helpless and likewise vulnerable new being. You’re exhausted. You look like shit. If you don’t have anyone to hang out with, that’s a bad situation.
Ari meets Mina. And that turns out to be all she needs: one friend. That’s how this whole experience can come to seem like a new kind of normal, and be funny and OK and maybe even kind of chill and nice. Sure, there’s a part of you that’s entirely focused on the child—you’re very physically connected in the early months—but when I was a new mother, I felt loneliest and most dissatisfied when I was sitting by myself nursing my baby. Nursing is very time-consuming in the beginning. I loved my baby. That goes without saying. But I would sit there all day thinking...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: The Book of Dahlia.