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Claire Oshetsky

5 Reviews

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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A fierce and darkly joyful fable about mothering an unusual child from an electric new voice

* 'A marvel' Rumaan Alam * 'Stunning' Claire Lombardo * 'Hypnotic' Catherine Cho *


Tiny is pregnant. Her husband is delighted. 'It's not yours,' she tells him. 'This baby will be an owl-baby.' Tiny's always been an outsider, and she knows her child will be different.

When Chouette is born, Tiny's husband and family are devastated by her condition and strange appearance. Doctors tell them to expect the worst. Chouette won't learn to walk; she never speaks; she lashes out when frightened and causes chaos in public. Tiny's husband wants to make her better: 'Don't you want our daughter to have a normal life?' But Tiny thinks Chouette is perfect the way she is.

As Tiny and her husband fight over what's right for their child, Chouette herself is growing. In her fierce self-possession, her untameable will, she teaches Tiny to break free of expectations - no matter what it takes.

Savage, startling, possessed of a biting humour and wild love, Chouette is a dark modern fable about mothering an unusual child. It will grip you in its talons and never let go.

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Praise for Chouette

  • Claire Oshetsky's novel is a marvel: its language a joy, its imagination dizzying. Every time I thought I had cracked Chouette's central metaphor - aha, it's about motherhood! No, marriage! No, music! - the book flew out my grasp like a wary bird. It's a truly exhilarating read. - Rumaan Alam, author of Leave the World Behind

  • Chouette is deeply felt, linguistically gorgeous, and wonderfully disorienting up to its final breathless pages-a stunning meditation on motherhood and identity truly unlike anything I've ever read before. - Claire Lombardo, bestselling author of The Most Fun We Ever Had

  • Chouette is a hypnotic read that captures the strangeness and ferocity of motherhood - poetic, dark and striking. - Catherine Cho, author of Inferno

  • An intensely strange and moving novel, Chouette is unlike anything else. It renders maternal love with mythological ferocity. Weird and darkly witty, Chouette kept drawing me deeper into its wild and dangerous territories. - Naomi Booth, author of Sealed

  • From the dark woods of motherhood, Chouette swoops - fierce, feral, poetic and deft. From an extraordinary beginning to its ecstatic end, I was gripped and held by this beautiful and deeply strange fable. A singular and inventive book about maternal instinct and helping the children we are gifted to find their own distinct forms of flight. - Liz Berry, poet, author of Black Country and The Republic of Motherhood

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Claire Oshetsky

Claire Oshetsky lives with her family in California. Chouette draws on her own experiences as the mother to non-conforming children.

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