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Winner of the Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction, Judged by Ben Marcus
“Although we didn’t spot Nutting’s name on this past summer’s New Yorker magazine “20 under 40″ list of touted younger American writers, based on the strength of this collection, one can fully expect that a decade from now, she’ll have eclipsed many, if not most of the publishing industry darlings on that list.” -Buffalo News
“Nutting treats the ugliness and beauty of life with depth, humor and warmth.” -The Las Vegas Review-Journal
“If Mary Gaitskill and Julio Cortázar together birthed a piglet, it could very well be this collection.” -Bookslut
Click here to listen to a review of Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls on NPR’s Here & Now
In this darkly hilarious debut collection, misfit women and girls in every strata of society are investigated through various ill-fated jobs. One is the main course of dinner, another the porn star contracted to copulate in space for a reality TV show. They become futuristic ant farms, get knocked up by the star high school quarterback and have secret abortions, use parakeets to reverse amputations, make love to garden gnomes, go into air conditioning ducts to confront their mother’s ghost, and do so in settings that range from Hell to the local white-supremacist bowling alley.
“Alissa Nutting builds a dark catalog of behavior for her characters and the result is a kind of human bestiary, if humans were programmed to go down in flames, to run themselves aground, to seek ruin on every occasion. These fine stories, anthropologically thorough in their view of the contemporary person, illuminate how people hide behind their pursuits, concealing what matters most to them while striving, and usually failing, to be loved.” –Ben Marcus, author of Notable American Women
“Like the futuristic love child of Mary Shelley and the Brothers Grimm, Alissa Nutting writes the most moving and uncanny prose. I want to be her avatar. Her future is great.” –Kate Bernheimer, author of Horse, Flower, Bird
“Alissa Nutting’s stunning debut collection, Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls, reanimates the deadest of dead pans to a state of enameled kabuki solar veneer — a sanctified, sublime, full-throated and full-throttled static panic. These fictions are panoplies of syntactic semantic seismic wonders. Don’t look now but you are looking at a sun raised to a higher power, and it’s not blinking”. –Michael Martone, author of Michael Martone
“Nutting’s outrageous and excruciating writing makes my face split with laughter, often in public. She’s glorious chaos and utterly original — read her with joy.” –Lydia Millet, author of Love in Infant Monkeys