Chouette by Claire Oshetsky:


Full of dark humour, this enthralling debut furiously eviscerates society’s need for normality . . . It would not surprise me if Chouette finds a place in the feminist literary canon. It has lingered in my mind in a way that only the most original works do. In its exploration of difference – of disability, of queerness – it feels truly modern, but in its themes of love and sacrifice, it is the oldest tale in the world. Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, The Guardian

Searing and ethereal . . . In fiction, supernatural premises are notoriously hard to land, but Chouette's final moments are among its loveliest. Human and owl meet in equal measure on the page in a crescendo of stunning lines. Just as Tiny longs for the world to meet her daughter where she is instead of forcing her into societal norms, Chouette is best met where it resides: as a harrowing and magnificent fable.

Marie-Helene Bertino, New York Times Book Review

“Oshetsky’s book is surrealism at its best…. Chouette, which abounds with humor and lush imagery, forces parents to consider their relationship with their children…. The book has a deep and universal resonance.

Thaisa Frank, San Francisco Chronicle

Frighteningly elegant, darkly funny, horrifyingly tender . . . Like all the best fables, Chouette locates a current of human darkness pulsing just below its surface. . . Oshetsky has produced a troubling triumph that is brave enough to leave its biggest questions unanswered. —Emily Watkins, iNews

This wildly imagined debut presents a parable of maternal love unlike any other you'll have encountered . . . Dark wit, tenderness, music, enchantment - they're all part of a story that remains oddly relatable despite its dazzling strangeness.

—Hephzibah Anderson, The Observer

What really sings Oshetsky’s spare but elegant language, a linguistic nocturne for readers that gracefully matches the classical music always humming in Tiny’s head, an articulation of ecstasy and pain, fear and hope. —Luke Gorham, Library Journal

“By turns poetic, gory, heartbreaking and strange…. An engrossing, surreal portrayal of motherhood.” —NPR 

Is Tiny hallucinating? Is she in hell? Is this a metaphor? Is any of the story actually happening in the manner it's being told? The ambiguity is tantalizing, even mesmerizing, and if your internal gyroscope is sufficiently operative to keep you from slipping off the edge, Chouette will richly reward your attention.

—Thane Tierney, Bookpage

Weirdly funny and bold, this novel will make you look at maternal sacrifice in a new way.” —Real Simple

Oshetsky's writing is virtuosic, laced with dry humor, and perfectly matched to the parable she unfolds…A fever dream of a novel that will enchant fans of contemporary fabulism. —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

There are many stories that address the myriad themes of motherhood, but it would be hard to find one that did it in such an utterly original way as Chouette. Drawing on her own experiences of mothering non-conforming children, Oshetsky weaves a contemporary fable so affecting, yet brimming with humour and life, that you'll probably tear through it in one sitting.  ―Happy Magazine