Nightbitch (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Where do women go when the identities society has laid out for them are not enough? What do they become when faced with these limited roles? In Nightbitch's case, they might become a dog. Rachel Yoder's protagonist is an artist who gave up her career to take care of her infant son. Stifled by the demands of motherhood by day, she finds freedom in nightly adventures as a free, instinct-driven dog, roaming the neighborhood and delving into its wild chaos. This is a brilliant, powerfully creative story that slices into the heart of contemporary motherhood like canines slice into raw steak. It is also a celebration of the ability of women to create and invent their most powerful selves. I want to put this book in the hands of every woman who has sacrificed a part of herself to the wonder of motherhood. Ultimately, Nightbitch is everywoman, everymother. 

— Claire

August 2021 Indie Next List

“At once weird, darkly funny, moving, relatable, and deliciously messed up, Nightbitch is a rallying howl to women, and especially mothers, everywhere.”
— Danielle Raub, Itinerant Literate Books, Charleston, SC


Nightbitch] feels like reading a deliciously long text from your smartest friend, with a hint of Kafka, if Kafka lived in the age of mommy bloggers . . . Yoder writes about contemporary anxieties with so much intelligence and charm that she can cause you to reflect without spiraling into deep depression. That's a feat, these days, greater than metamorphosis.--Glamour

In this blazingly smart and voracious debut, an artist turned stay-at-home mom becomes convinced she's turning into a dog.

One day, the mother was a mother, but then one night, she was quite suddenly something else...

An ambitious mother puts her art career on hold to stay at home with her newborn son, but the experience does not match her imagination. Two years later, she steps into the bathroom for a break from her toddler's demands, only to discover a dense patch of hair on the back of her neck. In the mirror, her canines suddenly look sharper than she remembers. Her husband, who travels for work five days a week, casually dismisses her fears from faraway hotel rooms.

As the mother's symptoms intensify, and her temptation to give in to her new dog impulses peak, she struggles to keep her alter-canine-identity secret. Seeking a cure at the library, she discovers the mysterious academic tome which becomes her bible, A Field Guide to Magical Women: A Mythical Ethnography, and meets a group of mommies involved in a multilevel-marketing scheme who may also be more than what they seem.

An outrageously original novel of ideas about art, power, and womanhood wrapped in a satirical fairy tale, Nightbitch will make you want to howl in laughter and recognition. And you should. You should howl as much as you want.

About the Author

RACHEL YODER is a founding editor of draft: the journal of process. She holds M.F.A's from the University of Arizona (fiction) and the University of Iowa (nonfiction), where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow. Her stories and essays have been published in literary journals such as The Kenyon Review and The Missouri Review, as well as national outlets such as The New York Times, The Sun, and Lit Hub. She lives in Iowa City with her husband and son.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780385546812
ISBN-10: 0385546815
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Publication Date: July 20th, 2021
Pages: 256
Language: English