A cycle of 15 fierce and funny feminist stories from teenage to old age, by the author of Alarm Girl.
These are stories told with a female gaze, showing women striving to be artists, employers, employees, daughters, mothers, sisters, friends, partners, wives and girlfriends. Characters are captured in recognisable moments of real life and in occasional flights of fancy. At the centre of each story is a woman engaged in an act of self-preservation.
In one story a young woman on the cusp of adulthood tries to express the horror and violence she perceives in the world around her, in another a teenage mother struggles to look after her child in the face of her obsession with the baby’s father. One character experiences the freedom of the workplace while another perceives its constraints. One discovers how far her career has pushed her out to the margins of family life while another contemplates retirement. In the title story a woman catches a whiff of what respect and reciprocal attraction feels like.
Women in these stories are exhilarated to discover the joy and surprise of other women’s company, they make bold sexual choices and go on night-time excursions. As grandmothers they give their grandchildren unsuitable presents. These women are at home and on holiday, at work and at play. They are young and they are old, fulfilled and frustrated, professional and amateur, educated and uneducated, knowing and unknowing. Their stories are witty, colourful tales of struggle and success, of yearning and learning.