In-person Reading with Szilvia Molnar & Thao Votang

Please join us in welcoming Szilvia Molnar and Thao Votang to BookWoman! Szilvia Molnar and Thao Votang in conversation about "Motherland" - what it means to be a part of a diaspora, belonging or never belonging in Texas, treading in the murky waters of "where are you from" question, and exploring ideas of home and belonging. 

This is an in-person reading and masks will be required by all attendees.

There is the before and the after. Withering in the maternal prison of her apartment, a new mother finds herself spiraling into a state of complete disaffection. As a translator, she is usually happy to spend her days as the invisible interpreter. But now home alone with her newborn, she is ill at ease with this state of perpetual giving, carrying, feeding. The instinct to keep her baby safe conflicts with the intrusive thoughts of causing the baby harm, and she struggles to reclaim her identity just as it seems to dissolve from underneath her.

Feeling isolated from her supportive but ineffectual husband, she strikes up a tentative friendship with her ailing upstairs neighbor, Peter, who hushes the baby with his oxygen tank in tow. But they are both running out of time; something is soon to crack. Joyful early days of her pregnancy mingle with the anxious arrival of the baby, and culminate in a painful confrontation – mostly, between our narrator and herself. Striking and emotive, The Nursery documents the slow process of staggering back towards the simple pleasures of life and reentering the world after post-partum depression.

A “brilliant…essential and surprisingly thrilling book about motherhood” (The New York Times) and the early postpartum days, following a woman struggling with maternal fear and its looming madness and showing how difficult and fragile those days can be—and how vital love is to pull anyone out from the dark.

SZILVIA MOLNAR is the foreign rights director at a New York-based literary agency, and author of a chapbook called Soft Split. Her work has appeared in GuernicaLit HubTriangle House ReviewTwo Serious LadiesThe Buenos Aires Review, and Neue Rundschau. Szilvia is from Budapest and was raised in Sweden. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Thao Votang’s novel, LIKE MOONLIGHT, is forthcoming from Alcove Press (July 2024). Her work has been published in Salon, Hyperallergic, Sightlines, Southwest Contemporary, and Lucky Jefferson. She co-edited Conflict of Interest, an arts & lit publication, and co-founded the Tiny Park arts space. When she’s not looking at art, she can be found reading one of the many books she has put in her bag or hidden under that couch cushion. Her fiction is informed by her experience as part of the Vietnamese diaspora deep in the lone star state, her interest in how we love our mothers, and the climate catastrophe.

Event date: 
Thursday, September 7, 2023 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
5501 North Lamar #A-105
Austin, TX 78751
The Nursery: A Novel By Szilvia Molnar Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593316849
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon - March 21st, 2023