“Shit Cassandra Saw is a collection of feminist short stories about female frustration and fury in the face of this shithole world, and it’s the gut-bustingly hilarious escapist fantasy I need to start this year off right. Gwen Kirby writes the kind of stories that make me want to crank up the Liz Phair.”
Cassandra may have seen the future, but it doesn’t mean she’s resigned to telling the Trojans everything she knows. In this ebullient collection, virgins escape from being sacrificed, witches refuse to be burned, whores aren’t ashamed, and every woman gets a chance to be a radioactive cockroach warrior who snaps back at catcallers. Gwen E. Kirby experiments with found structures—a Yelp review, a WikiHow article—which her fierce, irreverent narrators push against, showing how creativity within an enclosed space undermines and deconstructs the constraints themselves. When these women tell the stories of their triumphs as well as their pain, they emerge as funny, angry, loud, horny, lonely, strong protagonists who refuse be secondary characters a moment longer. From “The Best and Only Whore of Cym Hyfryd, 1886” to the “Midwestern Girl [who] is Tired of Appearing in Your Short Stories,” Kirby is playing and laughing with the women who have come before her and they are telling her, we have always been this way. You just had to know where to look.we have always been this way. You just had toknow where to look.