Jackie Polzin

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01 April 2021
240 pages

'Completely original, full of surprise, humor, grief, and wisdom.'
Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

'Darkly funny and poignant'

Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train

'[Polzin] writes beautifully about everything'
New York Times

Meet Gloria, Gam Gam, Darkness, Miss Hennepin County, and their unlikely owner.
Over the course of a single year, our nameless narrator heroically tries to keep her small brood of four chickens alive despite the seemingly endless challenges that caring for another creature entails. From the freezing nights of a brutal winter to a sweltering summer which brings a surprise tornado, she battles predators, bad luck, and the uncertainty of a future that may not look anything like the one she always imagined.

Brood by Jackie Polzin is a darkly witty, deeply moving and startling original debut novel of motherhood and grief, full of sorrow, joy and unrelenting hope. Perfect for fans of Jenny Offill and Elizabeth Strout.

Some novelists floodlight the world; Polzin uses a penlight to beautifully illuminate the least glamorous corners of a quotidian life . . . Her observation of the fragility and loveliness of daily life is so sharp and her commentary so droll, trenchant and precise, that the modest world she describes becomes almost numinous.

Washington Post

Polzin writes beautifully about chickens; she is lovingly cleareyed about their “idiocy” and their dearness. She writes beautifully about everything: the sound of melting snow at the end of a Minnesota winter; a forgotten container of orange sherbet frosted over; private emotion. Her eye for physical detail is surprising, gimlet . . . It’s a pleasure to see what Polzin sees.

Elizabeth McCracken, New York Times

Brood, which chronicles a year of grief subsumed through care, abounds in wit, charm, and the very mystery of being.

Joy Williams, author of The Visiting Privilege