Motherless Child


Find Motherless Child now at:
 Barnes and Noble
 Indie Bound
 Powell’s Books

Want to know more about the music in Motherless Child?

 Read an excerpt at MacMillan.com

Read the “Book Notes” article Glen wrote about the music in Motherless Child for the Largehearted Boy music blog.

Check out the Motherless Child Music Project!:  Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Five 1/2, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight


Praise for Motherless Child:

Hirshberg is an amazing writer who makes the materials of horror into what they were supposed to be all along-grandly sweeping, capable of tremendous reach, and open to all aspects of human experience. Motherless Child shows him at the peak of his form.”
—Peter Straub

“The final standoff will leave readers breathless before the unyielding, passionate sacrifices these women are willing to make to keep their children safe.”
—Nancy Hightower, The Washington Post

“With Motherless Child, Glen Hirshberg has also demonstrated that, in the hands of a sufficiently talented writer, there is no figure that is past its prime. Always one of his generation’s finest stylists, its most able students of character, he has written one of the best books of the year.”
—John Langan, The Los Angeles Review of Books

“Hirshberg takes readers on a grisly yet darkly comedic road trip in this outstanding southern horror tale about two single moms and their unfortunate encounter with a shadowy and irresistible singer known as the Whistler…No fangs, no pretty shirtless vampires, and no romance here—this one is a spine-tingler with smart dialogue, a thickly atmospheric setting, and plenty of visceral violence. Fine old-school horror, which will delight fans disgusted by the overabundance of vampire lite now dominating the genre.”
Booklist (Starred Review), Top Ten Horror 2015

“Hirshberg (The Book of Bunk) weaves love, desire, revenge, loyalty, and sacrifice into a blockbuster narrative. …. His depiction of Jess in her dogged, self-sacrificial adherence to Natalie’s request evokes Faulknerian depth. The clash of human and vampire worlds in the tumultuous final showdown presents a satisfying, startling, conclusion and infuses this work with both literary and genre merit.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Shirley Jackson Award winner Hirshberg (The Snowman’s Children) didn’t write a vampire novel, but he did write a love story that is about strength, courage, love, and the overwhelming force and power of motherhood. Readers looking for a Twilight knockoff will be disappointed. The rest will be pleasantly surprised and quite possibly moved by this artfully written tale.”
—Elisabeth Clark, Library Journal

“…the perfect vampire novel for those sick of vampires…In the breakneck pace and constant likelihood of something gruesome happening, Hirshberg might remind the reader a bit of Charlie Huston, but his writing is elliptical and far more focused on the way things feel for his damned pair…It’s a novel that demands attention to catch everything that’s going on, but richly rewards that attention.” (4 stars)
—Ian Mathers, RT Book Reviews

“A subversive, thrilling novel that subverts everything we’ve come to expect from tales that traffic in the undead, Motherless Child is as heartbreaking as it is terrifying, a breakneck midnight ride through a part of America too seldom visited in fiction. It’s Glen Hirshberg as his best, and I can offer no higher praise than that.”
—Elizabeth Hand, author of Wylding Hall

A compelling tale of the supernatural that gives it a human face. Beautifully written, it reinvents one of the inconic monsters in ways that are both classical and up to the minute. We can be sure horror fiction is still vital when it’s reimagined as freshly and vigorously as this.”
—Ramsey Campbell, author of Ghosts Know and The Darkest Part of the Woods

“The story is poignant and beautifully written, with each word on the page bearing significant weight, the rhythms of the prose carrying the reader along. Hirshberg is incredibly good at capturing and conveying subtle nuances of emotion and painting a picture of mingled decay and vitality, fertility festering in death if you wish. Nor will fans of the gorier aspects of vampirism be disappointed.”
—Peter Tennant, Black Static

“…a superbly gritty and intense novel that neither knows nor cares about genres, literary or vampire. Hirshberg is the sort of author who brings an authentic voice of the sort of people you might know, caught up in circumstances beyond our imaginations, to the printed page. Natalie and Sophie, single mothers, meet the Whistler – and his mother. It proves to be unfortunate for all concerned, other than the reader who will be gripped with the white-hot fury of Hirshberg’s ability to write great prose, great characters, and great sleaze in a novel that makes you feel. He peels away the American dreams of motherhood and rock and roll to their bloody core. He writes as if possessed by a falling angel. And he brings a genre that deserves to die to shuddering, bloody life. He’s probably damned by all this, but readers won’t give a damn. A great novel about vampires is a great novel. Put a stake through it.”
—Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column

Motherless Child moves at a crackling pace, mixing road novel with buddy story (and female buddies, at that) and adding a healthy dollop of good old-fashioned horror. From its striking cover art to its somber last page, it’s a vampire novel that deserves your attention.”
—Robert Morrish, Twilight Ridge and Cemetery Dance Magazine

“The novel teases out a challenging portrait of how love drives and undoes us. Mothers shape and save and swallow their children. Throughout, desire for deep connection moves characters to action, yet the tragedy of the vampire is that such desire can only be realized as hunger…It’s a bravura performance.”
—Mike Reynolds, Bookgasm.com

“The back cover copy of Motherless Child reads ‘Another vampire novel? Really?’…Well, if it’s as well-written as this novel, then, YES, another Vampire novel. Hirshberg’s story uses Vampirism as the mcguffin that drives  the narrative, which is, at it’s core, a heartbreaking exploration of friendship, motherhood, love, loss, and loyalty…. Motherless Child is a staggeringly good novel, and if I had any complaint, it’s that it ended too soon. Highly recommended.”
—Dan Reilly, horrorworld.org

“This is not a romantic tale of catlike eyes in the dark, or a feel-the-sin tale of rotting meat scents and tallow skin. There are no fangs, no flying and no bats, but the visual sense Hirshberg develops is astounding. He creates vivid environments where you can feel the sticky heat of a Waffle House on one page and sense the dull taste of overchewed bubble gum on the next. Natalie and Sophie are relatable both individually and in their relationship to each other; it’s wonderful to read a moment where a girl removes a neck tendon from her injured friend’s mouth, gently admonishing her, ‘Honey, don’t do that,’ and know exactly how she feels.”
Fangoria

Even if you’ve sworn to yourself never to read vampire fiction again, do yourself the favor of reading Motherless Child. Glen Hirshberg has crafted a compelling, heartbreaking thriller full of character, grit, and sorrow. Bravo”  —Christopher Golden

“Like an alchemist loose in a meth lab, Hirshberg produces rocket-fuelled gold in his magnificent Motherless Child; a sui generis mash-up of literary sensibility and B-movie energy, a shotgun wedding of the melancholy and the menacing, the meditative and the monstrous.”  —Peter Atkins