MOTHER, MOTHER by Koren Zailckas
By Mel Fabrikant Saturday, August 31, 2013, 02:24 PM EDT
In MOTHER, MOTHER: A Novel (Crown Publishers, September 17, 2013) we meet the Hursts: William, a twelve-year-old autistic boy who wants nothing more than to please his parents but can’t seem to figure out how; Violet, a rebellious teenager whose experiments with hallucinogenic drugs have just landed her in a mental ward; Douglas, their father who spends too much time at the office and the remaining hours with a bottle of scotch; and Josephine, whose subtle manipulations are slowly but steadily driving her family to the brink of disaster. And key to uncovering Josephine’s motives is Rose, the daughter who got away but whose presence is still keenly felt, and whose fate is mysteriously unknown.
While authors get their inspiration from many places, Koren didn’t need to look further than her own childhood when she decided to tackle the topic of a dysfunctional family. Growing up, several members of her family showed traits and characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder, including her own mother. She decided to write MOTHER, MOTHER in part to challenge the assumption that all mothers are compassionate and kind.
Deeply personal, Koren’s first foray into fiction showcases her brilliant firecracker-like prose, a page-turning plot, and an unmistakable voice. Full of wise and witty observations, and a mounting sense of dread, MOTHER, MOTHER is a stunning debut that is sure to spark debate and cause a stir.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Koren Zailckas is an internationally bestselling writer and has contributed to the Guardian, U.S. News & World Report, Glamour, Jane, and Seventeen magazine. She currently lives with her family in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Mother, Mother is her first novel.
MOTHER, MOTHER: A Novel
by Koren Zailckas
Crown Publishers • Publication date: September 17, 2013
Price: $24.00 hardcover • 384 pages • ISBN 978-0-385-34723-5
*Also available as an ebook and on audio from Random House*
The chilling debut novel by the author of the iconic New York Times bestselling memoir Smashed
Early Praise for Mother, Mother:
“A riveting fiction debut . . . it’s the kind of book that keeps you up at night, featuring a mother to rival Medea or Mrs. Bates. . . . The shocking and violent denouement shows Zailckas to be a consummate storyteller.”
“A hall of mirrors reflecting chaotic maternal psychological mayhem reminiscent of Mommie Dearest or Push or Ordinary People.” —Kirkus Reviews
“An excellent page-turner . . . the language and emotions render an epic quality of classic family sagas such as Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks or Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.” —Library Journal
“Koren Zailckas’s Mother, Mother is disturbing in the best possible way: believably. The slow, subtle darkness at the core of this book starts as a trickle and grows to a flash flood, and not once does it stop feeling absolutely authentic. Zailckas has written a gut-wrenching exploration of narcissism, dependence, and family. It’s an amazing book.” —Kelly Braffet, author of Save Yourself
Select Praise for Smashed
“Gripping . . . one of the best accounts of addiction, the college experience, or even what it means to be an average teenage girl in America. A.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Bookstores are flooded with boozy bios by former girls gone wild. This one rises to the top.” —People
“Poised and elegiac . . . Smashed goes down with a slow, genteel burn.”
—New York Times Book Review
“A mortifyingly credible story.” —New York Times
“Deeply moving.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
When Koren Zailckas’s memoir Smashed was published in 2005, it took the world by storm. The riveting, absorbing story of her teenage alcoholism was a tour de force, has sold over a half million copies, and has become a touchstone of the memoir genre. Now, Zailckas turns her considerable talent to fiction writing, with a darkly suspenseful debut novel that is taut, compelling, and ultimately terrifying.