Marrying the sharp insights of Jenny Offill with the dark humor of Maria Semple, Motherest is an inventive and moving coming-of-age novel that captures the pain of fractured family life, the heat of new love, and the particular magic of the female friendship - all through the jagged lens of a fraying daughter-mother bond.
It's the early 1990s, and Agnes is running out of people she can count on. A new college student, she is caught between the broken home she leaves behind and the wilderness of campus life. What she needs most is her mother, who has seemingly disappeared, and her brother, who left the family tragically a few years prior.
As Agnes sinks into new romance, mines female friendships for intimacy, and struggles to find her footing, she writes letters to her mother, both to conjure a closeness they never had and to try to translate her experiences to herself. When she finds out she is pregnant, Agnes begins to contend with what it means to be a mother and, in some ways, what it means to be your own mother.
"This is a book of wombs, physical and metaphorical, an exploration into the ways we make spaces to become ourselves - both divine and misguided - and what it means to be a daughter. Kristen Iskandrian's prose is both compulsively readable and structurally unique, investigating the mysteries of human feeling through a beautiful epistolary form." (Melissa Broder, author of So Sad Today)
"Kristen Iskandrian is an utterly thrilling voice, and Motherest will slay you with its inventive, spiky, and heartrending investigation into the dark mysteries of family life - and the quest for a private identity within it. A smart, gorgeous, and singular debut." (Laura van den Berg, author of Find Me)
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