Chouette by  Claire Oshetsky


Claire Oshetsky

An unsettling yet arresting exploration of the ferocity of motherly love that fiercely eviscerates society’s failure to accept nonconformity. This bizarre, fantastical and disturbing book is balanced by its music, dark humour and a writing style that is poetic and oddly hypnotic. It's definitely a test of reading agility as you emotionally absorb this tale as well as turn the pages.


  The Bird of the Wood has followed me into my room, and she strokes my head with her long cool feathers.

  'No time to rest,' she says. 'The water is on the boil. The sheets are clean and mended. It’s time to tell.'

  Her eyes, being slightly crossed, give her expression a hint of sadness, and I know she is about to ask me the most important question of all.

  'It’s time to tell,' says the Bird of the Wood. 'Are you prepared to be Chouette’s mother? Yes or no?'

  'If I say no?'

  'Then she’ll die.'

  'If I say yes?'

  'Then she’ll probably kill you,' she says. 'Quick quick quick. She needs a mother, or she needs to die.'

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