Books

Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

The Zygote Chronicles

by Suzanne Finnamore

“[Finnamore] pauses for some serious reflections, but doesn’t dwell too long on them, which is why the book’s emotional climax–the baby’s birth–hits home with the full force of raw, unrehearsed emotion. Finnamore deserves praise for having brought the emotional roller coaster of new motherhood to life with such dignity and style.” –Judith Warner, Washington Post

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 144
  • Publication Date June 22, 2003
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-3981-8
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $12.00

About The Book

A riotous and poignant novel in journal form that takes us from conception to delivery room.

Suzanne Finnamore’s universally applauded Otherwise Engaged followed one woman’s whirlwind ride from diamond ring to altar. The Zygote Chronicles is Finnamore’s singular take on the next leg of the journey. Through the voice of a whip-smart, sass-talking everywoman, Zygote reveals the unsettling and uproarious truth about pregnancy and the prospect of motherhood, from wicked cravings to homicidal-rampage-inducing pregnancy guides.

When she finds out she’s pregnant with her first child, the narrator of The Zygote Chronicles is closer to forty years old than to twenty-two (the latter, she is informed by a homicidal-rampage-inducing pregnancy guide, being the ideal age to have a baby). What unfolds from her very first wry yet heartfelt memo to her unborn child is like a series of x-rays into a pregnant woman’s soul, mind, and appetites. Suddenly she is attuned to everything around and inside her and she doles out observations and words of wisdom to her unborn baby accordingly: how a pregnant woman’s body becomes public property; the way everyone on the street fancies himself part of the jury when it comes to choosing a name. She captures the many sensory changes her body goes through with uncanny precision and crackling wit, and ponders why her once storybook marriage to the man she waited for all her life, suddenly undergoes an alchemical transformation every time he eats garlic or onions.

The Zygote Chronicles ‘deserves real praise for having brought the emotional roller-coaster of new motherhood to life with such dignity and style” (The Washington Post). The strange purgatory of pregnancy has been a fact of life since Eve ate the apple, but never has it been recounted in such brilliant, hilarious detail.

Praise

“Frequently hilarious and dead on….tough, lyrical revelations’.both very funny and surprisingly touching.” –The New York Times Book Review

“[Finnamore] pauses for some serious reflections, but doesn’t dwell too long on them, which is why the book’s emotional climax–the baby’s birth–hits home with the full force of raw, unrehearsed emotion. Finnamore deserves praise for having brought the emotional roller coaster of new motherhood to life with such dignity and style.” –Judith Warner, Washington Post

“Even if childbearing isn’t in your near future, you’ll find humor and wit in Suzanne Finnamore’s The Zygote Chronicles. . . . Written in journal form, this novel presents a fresh view of the nine-month journey to motherhood.” –Elle

“This mom delivers. [The Zygote Chronicles] is an insightful journey” Finnamore offers a field guide to the topsy-turvy nine months of pregnancy.” –People

Otherwise Engaged was fun, but this book is much more. What got to me was the extraordinary tenderness this smart-mouth woman feels toward her still-to-be-born child. The humor is certainly there, but this book is never ashamed of the powerful feelings, the helplessness and vulnerability she feels. I hope this book is taken seriously and gets the attention it deserves.” –Philip Levine

“One of the best, kindest, most touching, most readable, and female of books–also one of the most instructive, not only on pregnancy but on all kinds of human matters.” –Fay Weldon

“The Zygote Chronicles is tender and funny and perfect, and from now on I’m going to read it instead of having more children.” –Haven Kimmel, The New York Times best-selling author of A Girl Named Zippy

“The author’s voice, sly and sharp, hooks you. . . . [A] sweet song of pregnancy.” –Entertainment Weekly

Awards

Washington Post Book World–Raves 2002