The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits: Stories

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Jun 1, 2003 - Fiction - 272 pages
18 Reviews
Emma Donoghue vividly brings to life stories inspired by her discoveries of fascinating, hidden scraps of the past. Here an engraving of a woman giving birth to rabbits, a plague ballad, surgical case notes, theological pamphlets, and an articulated skeleton are ingeniously fleshed out into rollicking, full-bodied fictions.
Whether she's spinning the tale of an English soldier tricked into marrying a dowdy spinster, a Victorian surgeon's attempts to "improve" women, a seventeenth-century Irish countess who ran away to Italy disguised as a man, or an "undead" murderess returning for the maid she left behind to be executed in her place, Emma Donoghue brings to her tales a colorful, elegant prose filled with the sights and smells and sounds of the period. She summons the ghosts of those men and women who counted for nothing in their own day and brings them to unforgettable life in fiction.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits: Stories

User Review  - Goodreads

Such an outstanding collection of short stories - sparked by the odds and ends of archival and historical research. Emma Donoghue brings these women to life. I am rethinking my stance on short stories if I can find more like these. Read full review

Review: The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits: Stories

User Review  - Goodreads

I love Emma Donoghue. It's been a while since I've read this, so I can't quite comment on specifics. But I loved this one. Read full review


The Last Rabbit
Acts of Union
The Fox on the Line
Night Vision
Come Gentle Night
Words for Things
How a Lady Dies
A Short Story
The Necessity of Burning
Looking for Petronilla
Back Matter
Back Cover

Figures of Speech

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

Born in Ireland, Emma Donoghue spent many years in England and now lives in Canada. She is the author of Slammerkin as well as two other novels, a collection of short stories, and a collection of fairy tales. Her novels have been translated into eight languages.

Bibliographic information