Baby as Muse

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Lucy Ives writes about Rivka Galchen’s Little Labors for the Los Angeles Review of Books:

It’s a study of a baby and of babies, of culture and of vulnerability. Most of all, it’s a study of everything one has missed perceiving previous to the arrival of a child.

Galchen’s book is an “extended essay vérité,” modeled in part on Sei Shonagon’s idiosyncratic 11th century musings, The Pillow Book, and in that regard can seem diaristic, both voluble and vulnerable.


Kirstin Allio is currently a Howard Foundation Fellow at Brown University. Her story collection, Clothed, Female Figure comes out with Dzanc in 2016. Her novel, Garner (Coffee House), was a finalist for the LA Times Book Award for First Fiction. She has received the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” Award, a PEN/O. Henry Prize, and has published many short stories, poems, and essays. More from this author →