This novella tells the story of Johnny and Diane Laski - a sculptor and his wife - and their attempt to bring a new life into the world, during a cold winter, deep in the Maine countryside.
William Kotzwinkle describes the couple’s night-time dash to the hospital; the wife’s long labour; and the, ultimately, unsuccessful breech birth.
Unafraid of his subject, Kotzwinkle destroys any sentimental illusions about the beauty of childbirth - or the distance of birth from death.
He reminds us of how closely the two are intertwined; of the frightening power of the life force; and of the unpredictability and uncanniness of death.
And yet, his small book is not without hope…
“…Reveals a depth of emotion and an immensity of feeling seldom seen in American writers today.” — The San Francisco Review of Books
“A beautiful piece of work…the economy of the writing and the matter-of-fact acceptance make it immensely moving.” — Daily Telegraph
“A deeply moving book. The textures of its delicately conveyed anguish, simplicity make its grief all the more stunning.” — Publishers Weekly