about Chouette

a novel by claire oshetsky

An exhilarating, provocative novel of motherhood in extremis

Tiny is pregnant. Her husband is delighted. “You think this baby is going to be like you, but it’s not like you at all,” she warns him. “This baby is an owl-baby.”

When Chouette is born small and broken-winged, Tiny works around the clock to meet her daughter’s needs. Left on her own to care for a child who seems more predatory bird than baby, Tiny vows to raise Chouette to be her authentic self.


When she discovers that her husband is on an obsessive and increasingly dangerous quest to find a “cure” for their daughter, Tiny must decide whether Chouette should be raised to fit in, or to be herself—and she will learn what it truly means to be a mother.


A brilliant exploration of ambition, sacrifice, and the ferocity of motherly love.


Early Reviews:

Chouette is deeply felt, linguistically gorgeous, and wonderfully disorienting up to its final breathless pages―a stunning meditation on motherhood and identity truly unlike anything I've ever read before. ― Claire Lombardo, author of The Most Fun We Ever Had


Claire Oshetsky’s novel is a marvel: its language a joy, its imagination dizzying. Every time I thought I had cracked Chouette's central metaphor—aha, it’s about motherhood! No, marriage! No, music!—the book flew out my grasp like a wary bird. It's a truly exhilarating read.” —Rumaan Alam, author of Leave the World Behind


An intensely strange and moving novel, Chouette is unlike anything else. It renders maternal love with mythological ferocity. Weird and darkly witty, Chouette kept drawing me deeper into its wild and dangerous territories. ― Naomi Booth, author of Sealed


Chouette is a hypnotic read that captures the strangeness and ferocity of motherhood - poetic, dark and striking. ― Catherine Cho, author of Inferno