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Fresh Hell: Motherhood in Pieces

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By Carellin Brooks

Fresh Hell isn’t about perfect new moments with your infant. It doesn’t dispense sensible advice or prescribe schedules to manage the lawless days and nights of early maternity. Instead, this literary think piece, which has been described as “Eat, Pray, Love for the smarter mommy crowd,” seesaws between disaster and delight, horror and grim resignation, much like early motherhood itself.

An antigen to the anodyne, mother-knows-least tone of such cordially hated tomes as What to Expect in the First Year, Fresh Hell answers Dorothy Parker’s question — “What fresh hell is this?”— in exhaustive detail. In fifty-two spare meditations, one for each week of baby’s first year, Brooks sleeplessly covers the new mother’s least favourite subjects: baby poop, more baby poop, breastfeeding and its relation to shame, the pointless fights with a lover that are the inevitable result of broken nights and endless days, trying and failing to get basic work done, and all the other low points of having a baby. T

he book reminds frantic and time-strapped new moms that their brains are only temporarily on vacation, while its poetry will convince them that the madness they experience is intermittently divine.

Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Demeter Press (Oct. 4 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1927335321
Product Dimensions: 20 x 13.4 x 0.8 cm

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