Shit Cassandra Saw: Stories


Product Details

$18.00  $16.74
Penguin Books
Publish Date
5.0 X 7.5 X 0.9 inches | 0.45 pounds

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About the Author

Gwen E. Kirby is a native San Diegan and graduate of Carleton College. She has an MFA from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD from the University of Cincinnati. Her stories appear in One Story, Tin House, Guernica, Mississippi Review, Ninth Letter, SmokeLong Quarterly, and elsewhere. Guest editor Aimee Bender selected her story "Shit Cassandra Saw . . ." for Best Small Fictions 2018 and it also appears in the 2018 Wigleaf Top 50. Her story "Midwestern Girl Is Tired of Appearing in Your Short Stories" won the 2017 DISQUIET Literary Prize for Fiction and she was the 2018-2019 George Bennett Fellow at Phillips Exeter Academy. Currently, she is the associate director of programs and finance for the Sewanee Writers' Conference at the University of the South, where she also teaches creative writing.


"When I reached the end of every single one of Gwen E. Kirby's wildly unique stories, I felt like she had altered the universe a little, created a new element, opened up some fault lines in the earth. Kirby writes with boundless humor, a confidence and ease with strange premises, and yet there is always that flash of a fang or a blade or a Sharpie, reminding you to pay closer attention."
--Kevin Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Nothing to See Here

Excellent...The prose is sharp and calibrated to suit each of Kirby's temporally and geographically diverse settings...[with] risk-taking and assured, well-developed craft. This is remarkable.
--Publishers Weekly *Starred Review*

With zany plots, unconventional forms, and playful, poetic language, these stories delight at every turn.
--Kirkus Reviews *Starred Review*

"In dazzling story after story...Kirby meditates on the fears, joys and pains of being a woman throughout the centuries. Every story feels unique, yet they're tied together by Kirby's mind-bendingly confident writing and her clear fascination with strong yet vulnerable women...Shit Cassandra Saw is pure pleasure."
--Bookpage *Starred Review*

Remarkable...Wielding humor and shock, Kirby audaciously unmasks gender disparity with delightful, disturbing aplomb.
--Shelf Awareness

"[An] explosive, original, fearless, funny, on-the-money feminist story collection that delivers."
--Publishers Weekly, Open Book

"As fun as it is furious, Shit Cassandra Saw rewrites womanhood with a cast of complex, contradictory, brave and bonkers heroines as likely to skewer you with a cutlass as they are to poorly re-tile your bathroom. I want to be friends with all of the women in this collection who refuse to be anything other than exactly who they are. A barnburner of a book that will set you ablaze with its clear-eyed brilliance."
--Rachel Yoder, author of Nightbitch

"Shit Cassandra Saw is a readable and unflinching book about womanhood in the modern world. The stories in this collection are fierce yet playful, like the characters themselves, and I read along in a fugue state of gleeful panic. Gwen E. Kirby takes readers into a funhouse of the mundane, revealing the excitement, possibility, and pure fun that lives just behind the predictable man's world we already know."
--Liv Stratman, author of Cheat Day

"Radiant truths are arrived at raucously in Shit Cassandra Saw, Gwen E. Kirby's spirited debut story collection. Kirby writes with deadpan humor about louts and witches and cross-dressing pirates, gods and ghosts and whores in wildly entertaining stories that swerve into wisdom and deeply satisfy."
--Christine Schutt, author of Pure Hollywood

"The stories in Shit Cassandra Saw strike fast and leave you humming in their mysteries. Gwen E. Kirby has written a book that boldly defies categorization, much like the women at its center. Here is a writer who is too good to tell a story just one way. I'll follow Kirby's mind anywhere."
--Simon Han, author of Nights When Nothing Happened