Lectures & Literary past

The Nursery Book Talk with Szilvia Molnar


TUE—March 28—7 PM, free

On March 28, Swedish novelist Szilvia Molnar joins us to discuss The Nursery, her remarkable, transgressive debut novel about maternal fear and its looming madness, out March 21 from Pantheon!

Withering in the maternal prison of her apartment, a new mother, Miffo, 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 shows how fragile and sometimes Kafkaesque postpartum days can be, and how vital love is to pull anyone out from the dark.

This event will take place in-person at Scandinavia House. Registration is required; please sign up at the link above.

“A radical novel…Szilvia Molnar’s astounding debut demonstrates that the intricate workings of the female mind deserve our most reverent attention”—Jessamine Chan, New York Times bestselling author of The School for Good Mothers

“A concise, powerful novel on bringing art and life into the world, by a beautiful prose stylist”—Lydia Kiesling, author of The Golden State

About the Author

Szilvia Molnar was raised in Sweden. She is the foreign rights director at a New York-based literary agency and lives in Austin and NYC.

The author of a chapbook called Soft Split, her work has appeared in GuernicaLit HubTriangle House ReviewTwo Serious LadiesThe Buenos Aires Review, and Neue Rundschau.

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