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The Stud Book

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A sharp-edged satire of contemporary motherhood from a comic novelist on the rise

     In the hip haven of Portland, Oregon, a pack of unsteady but loyal friends asks what it means to bring babies into an already crowded world.
     Sarah studies animal behavior at the zoo. She’s well versed in the mating habits of captive animals, and at the same time she’s desperate to mate, to create sweet little offspring of her own. Georgie is busy with a newborn, while her husband, Humble, finds solace in bourbon and televised violence. Dulcet makes a living stripping down in high school gyms to sell the beauty of sex-ed. Nyla is out to save the world while having trouble saving her own teen daughter, who has discovered the world of drugs and the occult. As these friends and others navigate a space between freedom and intimacy, they realize the families they forge through shared experience are as important as those inherited through birth.
     A smart, edgy and poignantly funny exploration of the complexities of what parenthood means today, Monica Drake's second novel demonstrates that when it comes to babies, we can learn a lot by considering our place in the animal kingdom.

From the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Feb 25, 2013 – Sarah works at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, Ore., monitoring animal behavior and mating activity while trying to carry a pregnancy to term after several miscarriages. Her academic friend Georgie is on maternity leave with a largely absent husband and a “French feminist tramp stamp.” Dulcet and Nyla, the other half of this friend foursome, are a bit older: Nyla has daughters in high school and college; photographer and sex-educator Dulcet has a medical marijuana prescription and a “living anatomy lesson” in the form of a bespoke latex suit covered with “an anatomically correct illustration of a woman’s internal organs... with the vulnerability of the inside lacing the outside.” All four are native Portlanders, and while Drake’s interest is clearly women’s lives and the push-pull forces of biology, what really stands out is her depiction of their city. This is not the twee wonderland of Portlandia—it’s a place where anything potentially usable goes on the curb with “paper signs screaming FREE!” despite the inevitable rain that turns would-be recyclables into a “multileveled mold collection.” Drake’s characters don’t just remember an older, more run-down city, they seem to inhabit it: Nyla opens a store in a dicey neighborhood, her daughter goes to a subpar school, day laborers wait for work. While the women’s specific plights don’t always carry enough weight, Drake (Clown Girl) combines their lives in a quirky, knowing way, showing the complexities of modern-day female life, species Pacific Northwest native.
The Stud Book
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Apr 09, 2013
  • Publisher: Crown/Archetype
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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