- An NPR Best Book of 2016
- A New Yorker Book We Loved in 2016
- Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2016
- The Millions Most Anticipated Book of 2016
- Flavorwire Most Anticipated Book
From the critically acclaimed author of The Virgins, Eleven Hours is an intimate exploration of the physical and mental challenges of childbirth, told with unremitting suspense and astonishing beauty.
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Exhilarating novel . . .The writing is candid without being sensational, detailed without being clinical. This admirable novel reminds us that even when childbirth is overseen by caring professionals in state-of-the-art facilities, it still arrives on waves of blood.
I loved Eleven Hours. In this gorgeous, haunting, slender novel, Pamela Erens creates an intimacy that is all-encompassing.
Pamela Erens achieves the extraordinary in her third novel, Eleven Hours: a visceral story about an intensely painful experience that manages to be an intense pleasure to read.--Boston Globe
Powerful--aesthetically and viscerally.
upends conventional notions of motherhood while reminding us of its universal mystery.--Signature Reads, Best Books of the Year
Erens' vivid, unflinching portrayal of childbirth . . . read so powerfully, and offer something so infrequently depicted in literature . . .
Erens is such a gifted writer that in this slender novel she is able to magically transform the experience of two women - one a mother in labor, the other a nurse - into urgent, suspenseful drama. From the first sentence - ''No, the girl says, she will not wear the fetal monitoring belt'' - Erens seizes control of her intense, provocative and deeply rewarding high-wire act of a novel.--National Review, Five Hot Books
Erens makes a fresh contribution. Along with creating original and nuanced characters, she pits duality against intense isolation. . .
Deeply moving and radiantly written, Eleven Hours is a gorgeous, harrowing, and intensely urgent novel. Pamela Erens is a mesmerizingly smart and powerful writer--I can't stop thinking about this book.--Molly Antopol, author of THE UNAMERICANS
With Eleven Hours Pamela Erens solidifies her standing as one of the most gifted fiction writers we have. This exploration of a woman's time in labor is at once gritty and graceful, harrowing and compassionate. It is no small challenge to make a subject as old as life itself feel newly observed and newly revelatory, but Erens does exactly that and more. Bravo!--Robin Black, author of LIFE DRAWING
Eleven Hours is a taut, spare, and gorgeous, a slow beautiful spinning of tension and story that embraces two women whose lives interlock at the moment in which life enters the world: birth. Pamela Erens's prose manages to be both meditative and urgent.--Roxana Robinson, author of SPARTA
I could. not. put this one down.
Erens' story is so tightly packed, so fluid, I couldn't stop chasing the next word, the next sentence, through to the end.I don't have children and I don''t plan to; it's not for me. And still, even unexpectedly, Eleven Hours really resonated with me. It's a welcome addition to the too-tiny pool of pregnancy & childbirth-themed literature, though echoes into so much more than that as well.
As Lore works and struggles through labor, every detail of which I felt I could touch with both hands, she also navigates human connection--how the are made, held, broken. And as Franckline, her nurse/midwife, travels through this alongside Lore, the connections and bonds between women, the temporary one between these two women--are lovingly knit, inspected, defined. Eleven Hours is like a lullaby, speaking often of tragedy but in the gentle, rocking tune of a mother's voice. This is another one from Tin House that I will be keeping tucked in near my heart.--Finch Alder Hogue, Vintage Books