“Shit Cassandra Saw” is a treasure trove of short stories centred around women dealing with everyday grievances and aggressions precipitated by the perpetual behaviours of men. Gwen E. Kirby bequeaths her characters the superhuman fortitude — and even superhuman abilities, in the case of “A Few Normal Things that Happen a Lot” — to fight back in this collection that is ablaze with her wild ingenuity and suffused with genuine laugh-out-loud humour.
There’s really not one bad story amongst the 21 offered here — but it’s definitely front-loaded in terms of my favourites. The opener, “Shit Cassandra Saw That She Didn’t Tell the Trojans Because at That Point Fuck Them Anyway,” sets the overall tone, and you can read it in a couple of minutes, so I urge you to, so you can decide whether this is for you. I’m reluctant to call out a favourite, but certainly “Jerry’s Crab Shack: One Star” ranks among them; written in the style of a Yelp review, which reveals more about the man writing it — and his relationship with his wife — than the restaurant he is analysing.
Writing styles change, the seriousness of tone varies, but the quality of Kirby’s stories remains steadfast. I can’t wait to read more.
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 12th April 2022
Publisher: Penguin Group USA