Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder

“She had done the ultimate job of creation. She had nothing left. To keep him alive - that was the only artistic gesture she could muster.”


Once an aspiring artist working in her dream job. Then she's fresh off the birthing chair convincing herself she can handle it all. She should be able to, she'd bring the baby to meetings, shows, write emails late into the night while the baby napped beside her. What was so hard about that? 

And she tried, oh boy she tried so hard.

But Mother could not handle it. And because dear, precious, never lifts a finger Father makes more money, it was only fair that Mother quit the dream job to take care of the boy. 

It'll be fun, said the father. Yes, the Mother thought, thinking he'd be away working five days every week anyway at some goddamned hotel in the middle of nowhere. 

The Mother, crippled by extreme exhaustion and left depleted by the neediness of the boy and husband. Burned out by a house that needs to be cleaned from head to toe and a cat she hates begging to be fed. 

As though driven to a state of sleep-deprived acute psychosis, this Mother begins to experience canine symptoms in the form of small hair growths, similar to those of a dog, intensifying as her anger grows more feral. 

The mother is fantasizing about dogs. She loves dogs, you could even say she’s obsessed with them. She plays, hugs, kisses, and even talks to them. “Did you just get your hair done?” She asks the retriever, as it nuzzles at her neck, licking the palm of her hand. 

Her animalistic form, the other side of her that bares fangs and barks and howls, surfaces in the evening as she creeps out and explores the park on all fours. This impulsive, bloody and intense being is the Mother's alternate reality that allows her to escape the wildness of motherhood. 

She is no longer a mother. She is a Nightbitch. 

This book was grossly addicting. Devouring it, I gobbled up every page, every word, and was left insatiably hungry for more. 

Not one for the faint-hearted. Plan to cancel the next 24 hours of your life because once you start this book you won't be able to put it down. 

Photo by Nathan Biehl

Holding a Master’s of Fine Art in Fiction from the University of Arizona and one in nonfiction from the University of Iowa, author Rachel Yoder is also the founding editor of draft: the journal of process

Featuring stories, interviews, and more, draft is a unique print publication emphasizing the importance and diversity of the creative process. 

Rachel's stories and essays have been published in literary journals such as The Kenyon Review and The Missouri Review, as well as The New York Times.

Nightbitch is her debut novel. 


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