Member Loginmenu
The Baby

The Baby

Marie Darrieussecq

  • awardWinner, PEN Translates Award, 2018
  • Translated by Penny Hueston

    The Baby is a mother’s project and a writer’s project—how to reconcile these two demanding roles? What is a baby? And why are there so few of them in literature? Through notes taken in the months after her first child was born, Darrieussecq, in her characteristically ingenious style, makes observations that will bring smiles and grimaces of recognition, and raise important questions.

    Along with the banal drudgery of childcare, there is the euphoria, the obsession, the terror and the visceral focus on the body. Arguing with ‘Saint de Beauvoir’, Darrieussecq examines how women as mothers are targeted from all angles. How, she asks, can a woman be more and other than a mother?


    Lifted Brow 
    The Spinoff 

    Marie Darrieussecq
    About the Author

    Marie Darrieussecq was born in Bayonne in 1969 and is recognised as one of the leading voices of contemporary French literature. Her first novel, Pig Tales, was translated into thirty-five languages. She has written more than twenty books. Text has published Tom Is Dead, All the Way, Men, Being Here: The Life of Paula Modersohn-Becker, Our Life...

    Read Moreright
    About the Translator

    Penny Hueston’s translations from French include novels by Emmanuelle Pagano (One Day I’ll Tell You Everything), Patrick Modiano (Little Jewel), Sarah Cohen-Scali (Max) and Raphaël Jerusalmy (Evacuation). She has translated six books by Marie Darrieussecq—All the Way, Men, Being Here: The Life of Paula Modersohn-Becker, Our Life in the Forest, ...

    Read Moreright
    Text publication date:
    2 April 2019
    AU Price:
    NZ Price:
    Loading Rating
    Praise for Marie Darrieussecq
    andThe Baby

    ‘An enchanting book…moving, funny, profound. And never sentimental.’

    ‘Without seeming to, Marie Darrieussecq gives us an example of what literature can achieve. It is a rare thing.’

    ‘The reader will be captivated by Darrieussecq’s hypnotic style.’

    ‘There are few writers who may have changed my perception of the world, but Darrieussecq is one of them.’

    ‘Darrieussecq evokes the awe, fear and weirdness of motherhood, the demolition of certainty, an instinct for rapture. She puts her hand in the great dark lake of maternal experience and scoops up filigrees of the phosphorescent memory all mothersshare, turns them gleaming in the light of her words, one after another. I was disturbed, envious, enthralled.’

    ‘Vintage Darrieussecq: tender, disturbing and indelible.’

    ‘Darrieussecq ruminates on both the magical and trivial ins-and-outs of motherhood and contemplates topical questions around how we define mothers. The book is as much of a must-read for those with children, as it is for those considering whether (or not) to have them.’

    ‘Darrieussecq has a force of clarity, an ability to take herself seriously without the need for self-deprecation. She is always original, always thrilling.’

    ‘[Penny] Hueston has obviously captured the original pulse of the language, not an easy task.’

    ‘Darrieussecq captures the fleeting, endless drift of life with a small child…feelings that Darrieussecq understands only too well and about which she is unflinchingly honest.’

    ‘[Darrieussecq’s] account is visceral yet detached, bodily yet scientific. Reading her text, I’m reminded of Maggie Nelson’s breathtaking The Argonauts – both clash the physical and taboo with the philosophical and the literary. But what is so crucial to Nelson’s and Darrieussecq’s work is that, somehow, there is no clash. The worlds meld seamlessly together, as though they should have always been that way.’

    ‘What a strangely hypnotic book The Baby is…The writing is beautiful, as clear as a glass of water.’

    Other editions ofThe Baby
    • The Baby
      ISBN: 9781925774306
      2 April 2019
      Buy ebook