Women! In! Peril!

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Pub Date Apr 02 2024 | Archive Date Mar 31 2024
Bloomsbury USA | Bloomsbury Publishing

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Full of wry humor, sharp social commentary, and an irrepressible sense of hope, a ferociously feminist debut short story collection from award-winning playwright Jessie Ren Marshall.

In this brash and unputdownable collection, we meet a sex bot trying to outlast her return policy, a skeptical lesbian grappling with her wife's mysterious pregnancy, and a post-Earth colonist struggling to maintain her faith in humanity as she travels to “Planet B.” Whether they exist in the grounded realism of a college dance studio or the speculative world of Deep Space, these women push against social norms and family expectations to reclaim their power, understand their mistakes, and find a better future.

Hilarious, heartbreaking, and defiantly optimistic, the twelve stories in Women! In! Peril! balance humor and gravitas to explore the complexities of queerness, toxic relationships, parenting and divorce, Asian and Asian American identity, and so much more.

Full of wry humor, sharp social commentary, and an irrepressible sense of hope, a ferociously feminist debut short story collection from award-winning playwright Jessie Ren Marshall.

In this brash and...

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ISBN 9781639732272
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Average rating from 24 members

Featured Reviews

Women! In! Peril!, a brash and unputdownable collection of short stories by Jessie Ren Marshall, offers a captivating reading experience. With intriguing characters and thought-provoking narratives, Marshall successfully pushes the boundaries of social norms and family expectations. In this collection, readers are introduced to a wide array of women who challenge conventions as they strive to reclaim their power, grapple with personal dilemmas, and envision a better future. One of the standout stories in Women! In! Peril! features a determined sex bot on a mission to surpass her return policy. Marshall skillfully presents the complexities of this character's existence, blending humor and a sense of urgency. As the sex bot navigates her own journey, readers are compelled to ponder the nature of autonomy and the boundaries of artificial intelligence. Another tale follows a skeptical lesbian as she confronts her wife's mysterious pregnancy. This narrative delves into the intricacies of queer relationships and the challenges faced by couples in unexpected circumstances. Marshall seamlessly weaves together humor and poignancy, guiding readers through the protagonist's exploration of love, identity, and the complexities of motherhood. In the realm of speculative fiction, Marshall introduces readers to a post-Earth colonist, who grapples with her diminishing faith in humanity while embarking on a journey to "Planet B." Through this character's eyes, readers witness the struggle to maintain hope and find solace in an unfamiliar environment. The narrative deftly explores themes of isolation, resilience, and the constant search for connection. Throughout Women! In! Peril!, Marshall demonstrates her ability to balance humor and gravitas with finesse. The collection tackles a wide range of topics, including queerness, toxic relationships, parenting and divorce, as well as Asian and Asian American identity. Each story provides a nuanced exploration of the human experience, inviting readers to reflect on their own lives and relationships. In conclusion, Women! In! Peril! by Jessie Ren Marshall is a remarkable collection of twelve stories that captivate readers from start to finish. With a fearless and optimistic spirit, Marshall masterfully navigates the complexities of human existence, challenging societal norms and family expectations. This book is a must-read for those seeking laughter, heartbreak, and a renewed sense of hope.

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I immediately loved this book from the first page. All the stories were centered around women's experiences and some stories also dealt with themes on Asian American identity. Every story was unique and darkly comical. I loved everything about it. After reading it I wanted to read everything Jessie Ren Marshall has written and will ever write.

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Wow! Riveting short stories, From "Annie" to "Immaculate" to "Our Country Daughter" - here is smart, wry commentary, playful language, and inventive storytelling. I loved the list form in "Immaculate" and the character's interior monologue (felt like a sister or cousin of Miranda July). All in all, very enjoyable.

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Women! In! Peril! not only has an incredible title, but this collection of short stories is jam-packed with a variety of quirky, misunderstood, and strong female protagonists. Each story is its own little universe, and I was impressed how much character development and world building was contained in each one. From sex robots to a miraculous conception to a space journey to Planet B, this book covers a lot of ground and held my interest the entire time. Like any collection, I gravitated to some stories more than others, but I loved that the writer didn't hold back with big topics like queerness, Asian identity, complex romantic and familial relationships, and navigating the world as a woman in what is typically a male-dominated world. I look forward to future books!

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AHHH! What did I just read? I cried, I laughed, & I wandered through the plains of existential dread. I had a blast reading these. Each story paired well with a morning cup of coffee & an evening cup of a tea before bed.

The social commentary paired with humor in these short stories is nothing short of epic.

This collection of stories are all so stylistically different from each other that I thought there was more than one author. Each story is diverse & immersive. Perfect lengths too.

Highly recommend.

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in the way of most short story collections, this one had its hits and misses, though those misses for me had less to do with quality of writing and more to do with personal preference. i found the comprehensive collection overall to be excellent, with themes of womanhood, maternity, grief, yearning, and identity explored.

i am still thinking about some of the sci-fi stories that were in this collection - a genre that the author REALLY excelled. the first story called <i>annie 2</i> absolutely is the knockout star of the whole thing and i haven't stopped thinking about it since - a mom buys a robot for her son, grieving the end of a relationship, with the idea that the robot can, uh, service him. here, we explore the "rules" of the robot (if she is penetrated, then she can't be refunded), the expectation that if she's not being used for pleasure then she's used for housework, a scratch on her skin being considered her fatal "flaw", how she walks off a cliff at the end at the direction of her owner because she's been sucked of all her use. wow. wow wow wow wow wow.

there was another sci-fi gem here - women! in! peril! - taking place on a spaceship where groups of women able to get pregnant are being transported in cryogenic sleep states to a planet populated with virile men in order to preserve the human race. this story is cleverly told in "blurts" aka short snippets of dialogue from a character that's been woken up from her sleep state to get her scheduled exercise and goes through what happens when she realizes the ship has gotten off course and is headed for catastrophe. loved, loved, loved.

there was also a gorgeous sapphic treat in late girl, a story about a dancer who has been in an accident and lost her memory, about the memory in her body for her dancing and a love that she may have forgotten. i could have read about a million extra words on this story and loved it.

other stories - those culminating in the end of marriages to cheating husbands and motherhood (i am sorry, child-free lesbian here) - were still very good, but not things that meant as much to me out of preference, though i do think that people other than me will get a lot out of them.

jessie ren marshall is a highly cinematic, visual writer. i felt drawn-in and engaged in every sentence and i was impressed with the way her tone oscillated to suit each story and character. i would reaaaaaaally love a full-length novel from this writer and judging from the variety of stories that we're treated to in this collection, i think anything she writes in whatever genre she chooses will, in fact, be an absolute banger.

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