The Eighth Moon

A Memoir of Belonging and Rebellion
Available now!

“Beautifully written, The Eighth Moon uses a very light touch to probe the most essential, unresolvable questions of belief, kinship, fidelity, history, identity”—CHRIS KRAUS
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“Beautifully written, The Eighth Moon uses a very light touch to probe the most essential, unresolvable questions of belief, kinship, fidelity, history, and identity.”—Chris Kraus

A rebellion, guns, and murder. When Jennifer Kabat moves to the Catskills, she has no idea it was the site of the Anti-Rent War, an early episode of American rural populism.

As she forges friendships with her new neighbors and explores the countryside on logging roads and rutted lanes—finding meadows dotted with milkweed in bloom, saffron salamanders, a blood moon rising over Munsee, Oneida, and Mohawk land—she slowly learns of the 1840s uprising, when poor tenant farmers fought to redistribute their landlords’ vast estates. In the farmers’ socialist dreams, she discovers connections to her parents’ collectivist values, as well as to our current moment. Threaded with historical documents, the natural world, and the work of writers like Adrienne Rich and Elizabeth Hardwick, Kabat weaves a capacious memoir, where the past comes alive in the present.

Rich with unexpected correspondences and discoveries, this visionary and deeply compassionate debut gives us a new way of seeing and being in place—one in which everything is intertwined and all at once.


Publish Date
8.5 × 5.5 × 1 in
14.4 oz

Jennifer Kabat

Jennifer Kabat is the author of The Eighth Moon. Her essays have been published in BOMB, Granta, McSweeney’s, and Best American Essays.


Praise and Prizes

  • “Beautifully written, The Eighth Moon uses a very light touch to probe the most essential, unresolvable questions of belief, kinship, fidelity, history, identity. It’s one of the most remarkable, original books I’ve read in a long time.”

    Chris Kraus
    author of Summer of Hate
  • The Eighth Moon is infused with attention for the lands and art and bodies of the world. Reading it gave me moral stamina. Jennifer Kabat is a capacious and humane writer, and this book is required reading for anyone who wishes to live a principled life in a modern world.”

    Emmanuel Iduma
    author of I Am Still with You
  • The Eighth Moon moves with time-skipping logic, ‘where the yet is always now,’ and where life is not a march of progress, but rather a circadian unfurling, dying back, going underground, and coming up again, slightly different. Kabat is both a stylist and a temporal magician. She cultivates a perspective that is as ethical as it is aesthetic because it provides a way of understanding ourselves not as main characters, but as dynamic collaborators with all that has happened, is happening, and will happen.”

    Adrian Shirk
    author of Heaven Is a Place on Earth
  • “Kabat is a rural flaneur, probing for exit from capitalist endgame in this psychogeographical memoir of the Catskills. As political time collapses the events of her study into the present day, mysterious doors open into the possibility of an encounter across history with every risk attached, including that of renewal of our most elusive faith in one another. This is a sublime book.”

    Jonathan Lethem
    author of Brooklyn Crime Novel
  • “Kabat traces her journey through the archives; outlines her experience making a home in Margaretville as she befriends locals; and issues abundant literary reflections on such writers as Elizabeth Hardwick and Adrienne Rich. […] an introspective investigation of the interplay between writing, history, and political action.”

    Publishers Weekly
  • “Kabat’s debut memoir unearths the history of the small Catskills town to which she relocated in 2005. The site of a 19th-century rural populist uprising, and now home to a colorful cast of characters, the Appalachian community becomes a lens through which Kabat explores political, economic, and ecological issues, mining the archives and the work of such writers as Adrienne Rich and Elizabeth Hardwick along the way.”

    The Millions
  • “In this first part of a diptych, Kabat writes with characteristically lyrical incision about her Catskills community in upstate New York, its historic, farmer-led ‘Anti-Rent War’ and her parents’ own interests in collectivity.”

    Marko Gluhaich, Frieze