Join us for a conversation with Jackie Polzin, author of the new novel, Brood. Polzin is being hailed as an exquisite new literary voice–wryly funny, nakedly honest, beautifully observational, in the vein of Jenny Offill and Elizabeth Strout.
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 forty-below nights of a brutal Minnesota 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.
Intimate and startlingly original, this slender novel is filled with wisdom, sorrow and joy. As the year unfolds, we come to know the small band of loved ones who comprise the narrator’s circumscribed life at this moment. Her mother, a flinty former home-ec teacher who may have to take over the chickens; her best friend, a real estate agent with a burgeoning family of her own; and her husband, whose own coping mechanisms for dealing with the miscarriage that haunts his wife are more than a little unfathomable to her.
A stunning and brilliantly insightful meditation on life and longing that will stand beside such modern classics as H is for Hawk and Gilead, Brood rewards its readers with the richness of reflection and unrelenting hope.
Polzin will be in conversation with Martha Williams, the Library’s programs and education manager.
Jackie Polzin lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her husband and children. She is a graduate of the Boise State MFA program. Brood is her first novel.