World’s Best Mother is the journey of a writer through infertility, pregnancy, the mothering of small children, marriage and an affair, told through a mix of personal anecdotes, imagination, and social commentary.
This book came to us highly recommended through Chad Post, publisher of Open Letter Press
Nuria Labari is a Spanish writer, who looks like a supermodel and is very active on social media with 2,000 followers on Twitter and 6,000 followers on Instagram. She takes gorgeous, stylish pictures. She is published by Literatura Random House in Spain. She writes for El País, Spain’s leading national newspaper.
There are many ways of talking about motherhood, but the way Nuria Labari does it is deeply original and brilliant. This novel is an explosion, an intellectual trip touching upon the most primal instincts and the most human love. Nuria Labari has written a necessary book on a universal topic
A recent post by Lauren Elkin on The Paris Review blog argued that a “new canon” of the literature of motherhood seemed to be taking shape, “serious, ambitious, demanding that the experience of motherhood be taken seriously as literature,”. Elkin cites authors and works such Rachel Cusk’s A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother (2001), Jenny Offill’s The Dept. of Speculation (2014), and Sheila Heti’s Motherhood (2018).
An English translation of La mejor madre del mundo will add an original, international voice to the body of literature on motherhood, and specifically motherhood and art, motherhood and writing. As a Spaniard, Labari’s experience is European, and as such, offers a new perspective for American readers.
Katie Whittemore is a very well-connected US translator, working from the Spanish and currently living in Valencia, Spain. She works on contemporary fiction from Spain, and has done several projects with Open Letter Books, including Sara Mesa’s Four by Four.
Katie says about World’s Best Mother: “Labari is unsparing in her description and dissection of the messier aspects of motherhood… I have two young children. I’m a creator. I read this book furiously, underlining passages, thinking of the women and men I knew who would be nodding their heads if they could read it. I connected so deeply with this book and with Labari’s telling—all its ambivalence, all its light and darkness, the transcendence of creating a family, the joy of being a family, and the pulsing desire to flee or have a lover or get your boundaries (or at least your breasts) back.”