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* ‘A marvel’ Rumaan Alam * ‘Frighteningly elegant’ iNews * ‘Harrowing and magnificent’ New York Times *


Tiny is pregnant. Her husband is delighted. ‘It’s not yours,’ she tells him. ‘This baby will be an owl-baby.’ Tiny’s always been an outsider, and she knows her child will be different.

When Chouette is born, Tiny’s husband and family are devastated by her condition and strange appearance. Doctors tell them to expect the worst. Chouette won’t learn to walk; she never speaks; she lashes out when frightened and causes chaos in public. Tiny’s husband wants to make her better: ‘Don’t you want our daughter to have a normal life?’ But Tiny thinks Chouette is perfect the way she is.

As Tiny and her husband fight over what’s right for their child, Chouette herself is growing. In her fierce self-possession, her untameable will, she teaches Tiny to break free of expectations – no matter what it takes.

Savage, startling, possessed of a biting humour and wild love, Chouette is a dark modern fable about mothering an unusual child. It will grip you in its talons and never let go.


Searing and ethereal . . . In fiction, supernatural premises are notoriously hard to land, but Chouette's final moments are among its loveliest. Human and owl meet in equal measure on the page in a crescendo of stunning lines. Just as Tiny longs for the world to meet her daughter where she is instead of forcing her into societal norms, Chouette is best met where it resides: as a harrowing and magnificent fable.
Marie-Helene Bertino, New York Times
Frighteningly elegant, darkly funny, horrifyingly tender . . . Like all the best fables, Chouette locates a current of human darkness pulsing just below its surface. . . Oshetsky has produced a troubling triumph that is brave enough to leave its biggest questions unanswered.
Emily Watkins, iNews
Claire Oshetsky's novel is a marvel: its language a joy, its imagination dizzying. Every time I thought I had cracked Chouette's central metaphor - aha, it's about motherhood! No, marriage! No, music! - the book flew out my grasp like a wary bird. It's a truly exhilarating read.
Rumaan Alam, author of Leave the World Behind
Viscous, tender, baffling, and glorious, Chouette is an unforgettable fairy tale that glitters darkly with Oshetsky's raw and soaring brilliance. Part love letter, part lament, Chouette astonishes as each perfected sentence burrows deep into the maternal shadows of love, possession, selfhood, and sanity. A bone-deep, breathtaking wonder.
Rachel Yoder, author of Nightbitch
Chouette is a hypnotic read that captures the strangeness and ferocity of motherhood - poetic, dark and striking.
Catherine Cho, author of Inferno
There are many stories that address the myriad themes of motherhood, but it would be hard to find one that did it in such an utterly original way as Chouette. Drawing on her own experiences of mothering non-conforming children, Oshetsky weaves a contemporary fable so affecting, yet brimming with humour and life, that you'll probably tear through it in one sitting.
Happy Magazine, Australia
Written in perfectly balanced prose, Chouette does what the very best fantastical work does: it renders a vividly absurd picture which, as we look closer, depicts our reality more sharply than any realism could do. Exuberant, maddened, and sly, this book gives more straight-talk about the vagaries of motherhood than a dozen how-to manuals.
Brian Evenson, author of Song For the Unraveling of the World
From the dark woods of motherhood, Chouette swoops - fierce, feral, poetic and deft. From an extraordinary beginning to its ecstatic end, I was gripped and held by this beautiful and deeply strange fable. A singular and inventive book about maternal instinct and helping the children we are gifted to find their own distinct forms of flight.
Liz Berry, poet, author of Black Country and The Republic of Motherhood
An intensely strange and moving novel, Chouette is unlike anything else. It renders maternal love with mythological ferocity. Weird and darkly witty, Chouette kept drawing me deeper into its wild and dangerous territories.
Naomi Booth, author of Sealed
Chouette is deeply felt, linguistically gorgeous, and wonderfully disorienting up to its final breathless pages-a stunning meditation on motherhood and identity truly unlike anything I've ever read before.
Claire Lombardo, bestselling author of The Most Fun We Ever Had
This wildly imagined debut presents a parable of maternal love unlike any other you'll have encountered . . . Dark wit, tenderness, music, enchantment - they're all part of a story that remains oddly relatable despite its dazzling strangeness.
Hepzibah Anderson, Observer