Author(s): Pamela Erens
Lore arrives at the hospital alone--no husband, no partner, no friends. Her birth plan is explicit: she wants no fetal monitor, no IV, no epidural. Franckline, a nurse in the maternity ward--herself on the verge of showing--is patient with the young woman. She knows what it's like to worry that something might go wrong, and she understands the distress when it does. She knows as well as anyone the severe challenge of childbirth, what it does to the mind and the body.
Eleven Hours is the story of two soon-to-be mothers who, in the midst of a difficult labor, are forced to reckon with their pasts and re-create their futures. Lore must disentangle herself from a love triangle; Franckline must move beyond past traumas to accept the life that's waiting for her. Pamela Erens moves seamlessly between their begrudging partnership and the memories evoked by so intense an experience: for Lore, of the father of her child and her former best friend; for Franckline, of the family in Haiti from which she's exiled. At turns urgent and lyrical, Erens's novel is a visceral portrait of childbirth, and a vivid rendering of the way we approach motherhood--with fear and joy, anguish and awe.
Eleven Hours is the visceral story of two women, nurse and patient, both with complicated pasts, and the fear, regret, and hope in the moments leading up to childbirth.
Pamela Erens' short fiction, reviews and essays have appeared in a wide variety of literary, cultural, and mainstream publications, including the New York Times, Vogue, Elle, Salon, Tin House, Boston Review, and New England Review. For many years Pamela was an editor at Glamour magazine.