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Table of Contents
About The Book
The baby I hold in my arms is a leech, let’s call her Button. Button is crying.
There is a before, and there is an after.
In her cramped New York apartment, a mother wilts beneath the intense August heat, struggling to adapt to her role as the silent interpreter of her newborn baby’s needs. She is not the first woman to give birth, to hold and carry and soothe and cradle. But the walls of her home seem to press ever closer as she balances on the fragile tightrope between maternal instinct and the longing for all she has left behind.
A lifeline emerges in the unexpected form of Peter, her ailing upstairs neighbour, who hushes the baby with his oxygen tank in tow. They are both confined to this oppressive apartment building, and they are both running out of time. Something is soon to crack.
In this mesmerizing portrait of the first days of motherhood, Szilvia Molnar lays bare the strength it takes to redefine who you are, rediscovering the simple pleasures of life along the way.
- Publisher: Oneworld Publications (March 21, 2023)
- Length: 208 pages
- ISBN13: 9780861544936
Raves and Reviews
'Brilliant… Molnar's sentences give up riches and terrors... An essential and surprisingly thrilling book about motherhood.'
– New York Times
'Molnar brings this particularly mind-eviscerating state of affairs into startlingly sharp relief in this uncompromising novel... Molnar’s most unsettling trick is to present her narrator’s more murderous thoughts from a perspective of absolute sanity. And yet this is also an oddly affirmative novel, alive with a dangerous self-aware humour.'
– Daily Mail
'Riveting and precise, The Nursery does extraordinary things amidst the confinement of early motherhood.'
– Megan Hunter, author of The End We Start From
'Molnar has written a daring and much-needed novel that has some of the hothouse, unflinching quality of Sylvia Plath's late poetry.'
– The Atlantic
'Gripping... Every page is drenched in equal parts anguish and charm.'
– Kyra Wilder, author of Little Bandaged Days
'The Nursery is a mesmerising read, a deeply affecting account of early motherhood that's full of honesty and power, tenderness and fragility. I loved it.'
– Emylia Hall, author of The Book of Summers
'Precisely, scaldingly true. A tense, thrilling debut that explores how a love story can also be a horror story.'
– Clare Pollard, author of Delphi
'With unsparing, hypnotic, and fearless prose, Szilvia Molnar captures the texture, rhythms, and agonies of the post-partum body and mind. I found so much pleasure in the tension between this haunting debut's warm, vibrant intimacy and its clear-eyed, occasionally violent accounting of the body at war with itself. The Nursery is a devastating work of elegance and ambiguity.'
– Patrick Cottrell, author of Sorry to Disrupt the Peace
'I was blown away by this book... At once somber and joyful, sly and earnest, nimble and painstaking, perverse and profoundly invigorating.'
– Lydia Kiesling, award-winning author of The Golden State
'A radical novel about the harrowing early days of motherhood, as well as love, ambition, and survival, The Nursery gives precise, gorgeous language to an experience that so often feels indescribable. Szilvia Molnar’s astounding debut powerfully demonstrates that the intricate workings of the female mind and a woman’s bodily metamorphosis and struggles deserve our most reverent attention. I’m obsessed with this book.'
– Jessamine Chan, author of The School for Good Mothers
'"I used to be a translator and now I am a milk bar." So begins Molnar's brilliant debut novel about a new mother falling apart within the four walls of her apartment. With horror and honesty, this book tackles the total, painful and deeply baffling transformation of a woman into a nurturer.'
– New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice
'Molnar takes apart the language of new motherhood and turns it into something deliriously fresh. This is the book I wish I'd had when I was in the narrator's shoes.'
– Jessica Friedmann, author of Things That Helped
'A powerful brew of a novel, emitting unpleasant sights, smells, and emotions that are rarely captured in print; it is frequently disquieting in its brutal, insistent candor.'
'Molnar's wellspring is universal; her features are particularly of our moment; and her flourishes of darkness let in the sublime... The Nursery deserves to be widely read.'
– Compact Magazine
'Told with radical honesty and emotional precision, The Nursery is an essential addition to the growing canon of literary works reckoning with the complexities of motherhood.'
– The Millions
'The Nursery dares to question the inviolable dictates of a mother’s love when a human is reduced to her suffering.'
– BOMB Magazine (Editor's Choice)
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