The Daughters

Adrienne CELT
Original title: 

The Daughters

Polish title: 


1st edition: 
Wydawnictwo Kobiece

Adrienne Celt was born in Seattle, Washington, and now lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she misses the ocean every day. She’s the author of the novels: Invitation to a Bonfire (Bloomsbury 2018) and The Daughters (Norton/Liveright) which won the 2015 PEN Southwest Book Award for Fiction and was named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, as well as a collection of comics: Apocalypse How? An Existential Bestiary (DIAGRAM/New Michigan Press 2016). Her writing has been recognized by an O. Henry Prize, the Glenna Luschei Award, and residencies at Jentel, Ragdale, and the Willapa Bay AiR. She’s published fiction in "Esquire," "Zyzzyva," "Ecotone," "The Kenyon Review," "Prairie Schooner," and "Electric Lit," among other places, and her comics and essays can be found in "Catapult," "Vol. 1 Brooklyn," "The Rumpus," "The Tin House Open Bar," "The Millions," and elsewhere.

In this virtuosic debut, a world-class soprano seeks to reclaim her voice from the curse that winds through her family tree. Since the difficult birth of her daughter, which collided tragically with the death of her beloved grandmother, renowned opera sensation Lulu can’t bring herself to sing a note. Haunted by a curse that traces back through the women in her family, she fears that the loss of her remarkable talent and the birth of her daughter are somehow inexplicably connected. As Lulu tentatively embraces motherhood she sifts through the stories she’s inherited, about her elusive, jazz-singer mother and the nearly-mythic matriarch, her great-grandmother Greta. Each tale is steeped in the family’s folkloric Polish tradition and haunted by the rusalka — a spirit that inspired Dvořák’s classic opera. Merging elements from Bel Canto and Amy and Isabelle, The Daughters reveals through four generations the sensuous but precise physicality of both music and motherhood, and — most mysterious and seductive of all — the resonant ancestral lore that binds each mother to the one that came before.