Eleven Hours


Product Details

$15.95  $14.67
Tin House Books
Publish Date
5.1 X 0.5 X 7.7 inches | 0.4 pounds
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About the Author

PAMELA ERENS's second novel, The Virgins, was a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice and was named a Best Book of 2013 by the New Yorker, the New Republic, Library Journal, and Salon. The novel was a finalist for the John Gardner Book Award for the best book of fiction published in 2013. Pamela's debut novel, The Understory, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in publications such as Elle, Vogue, the New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Millions.


Erens . . . [creates] one of the most realistic and harrowing portrayals of birth you are likely to encounter in fiction. She has also written an indelible portrait of two women coming to terms with desire, fear, crushing losses and fragile joys that have carved their lives, and who knows what it means to fight every hour, every minute, to take another breath.
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