Women! In! Peril! (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Women! In! Peril! is a shining example of what a short story collection can be! With biting wit, fierce feminist sensibilities, and original storytelling, I was captivated with every single story. There's something very fresh and legitimately funny in author Jessie Ren Marshall's writing and the imaginative worlds she has created. Each short story takes up space, expansive and standing tall, yet firmly grounded in the roots of the earth. Calling it now — this is, hands down, one of the best collections of the year!

— Christine

April 2024 Indie Next List

Women! In! Peril! is a sharply written, eclectically bizarre collection that starts with a bang and ends in tender tears, and everything in-between. A fantastic debut from an author to watch out for!”
— Jessie Wright, Copper Dog Books, Beverly, MA


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.

About the Author

Jessie Ren Marshall is a mixed race, Japanese-American writer who holds an MFA in Fiction from NYU. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Times' Modern Love column, The Gettysburg Review, Barrelhouse, The Common, ZYZZYVA, Chicago Quarterly Review, and Joyland, where her story “Late Girl” was a finalist for the 2022 Open Border Prize. Her musical Pele & The Hi'iakas was a semi-finalist for the 2021 Eugene O'Neill National Musical Theater Conference, and her play Hapa Girls won the 2020 Kumu Kahua Hawai'i Prize. She lives with her dogs on Hawai'i Island.

Praise For…

“Both humorous and raw, the story is a concise snapshot of how A.I. could bring out the worst in us. It might even make you wonder who should be in charge.” —Sierra Greer, author of ANNIE BOT, Lithub

“Genre-bending . . . wickedly smart . . . Women! In! Peril! reflects on the ever-evolving complexities of being a woman, especially when intertwined with LGBTQ and Asian American experiences. This unflinching lens gives power to this collection, with Marshall's delightful sense of humor sparkling throughout. An amusing but poignant collection for those who enjoy strange women in even stranger circumstances.” —Booklist

“For starters, excellent title. This debut short story collection from playwright Marshall spans sex bots and space colonists, wives and divorcées, prodding at the many meanings of womanhood. Short story master Deesha Philyaw, also taken by the book's title, calls this one 'incisive! Provocative! And utterly satisfying!'” —The Millions, "Most Anticipated: The Great Spring 2024 Preview"

“Delectable . . . It's weird, it's wild, and it's wonderful.” —Debutiful, “Most Anticipated Debut Books of 2024”

“[A] bold debut collection . . . Stocking these stories with an eclectic cast ranging from robots to divorcées and sideshow performers, Marshall explores with humor and tenderness the complex emotional interiors of characters who find themselves at a crossroads. This heralds the arrival of an arresting new voice.” —Publishers Weekly

“Cinematic, charming, and disturbing.” —Melissa Higgins, Lithub

“Bold and often, hilarious. There is a guilty pleasure in reading these stories. You feel like you're in the hands of someone who has a sharp eye for the strangeness of existing in today's world and doesn't have anything she is too afraid to say.” —Sasha Vasilyuk, Electric Literature

“Jessie Ren Marshall's clever stories took me on a wild, wonderful ride through speculative landscapes both heartrending and hilarious. Women! In! Peril! is incisive! Provocative! And utterly satisfying!” —Deesha Philyaw, National Book Award Nominated author of THE SECRET LIVES OF CHURCH LADIES

“Hilarious, strange, profound, and profoundly strange in that way only truly great short fiction can be. Marshall's creativity seems boundless . . . This collection shows the power and vibrance of the short story at its best and shows that Marshall is a talent we are lucky to have.” —Gwen E. Kirby, author of SHIT CASSANDRA SAW

Women! In! Peril! lives up to its obsession-worthy title and cover. This short story debut is full of smart, fresh fiction that I wanted to savor. Marshall brings a hilarious voice to inventive literary stories about women whose struggles range from divorce to the destruction of the human race. Singular characters like a former ballerina with memory loss and a lesbian whose girlfriend thinks she's carrying the baby Jesus make up this exciting and unabashedly queer collection!” —The Southern Bookseller Review

“Jessie Ren Marshall's voice in these stories is virtuosic in its range-surprising, funny, melancholy, shocking, poignant, and profound. She manages this by turns, and sometimes, amazingly, all at once. Women! In! Peril! is a fantastically good collection.” —Brian Hall, author of THE SASKIAD and THE STONE LOVES THE WORLD

“Welp, I've found my new favorite writer. Jessie Ren Marshall is so funny, so smart, so inventive, and I loved living in her wild imagination with these characters. I love it so much I want to roll in its words like a pig in the mud. I've been telling everyone I know about this book. Read it. It's a gift.” —Annie Hartnett, author of RABBIT CAKE and UNLIKELY ANIMALS

“Fearless and hilarious, brutal and huge-hearted . . . These stories are exhilaratingly honest, yet saturated with love for the messy, doomed worlds they create-and I fell totally under their spell.” —Clare Beams, author of THE ILLNESS LESSON

“A powerful and fearless work . . . these twelve stories relentlessly pursue questions of identity, belonging, and what it means to be a woman in contemporary society; I would eagerly follow them into deep space and beyond. Marshall's creative range is breathtaking, and Women! In! Peril! is a spectacular debut.” —Megan Kamalei Kakimoto, author of EVERY DROP IS A MAN'S NIGHTMARE

“In this sharp, inventive collection, Marshall establishes herself as someone to watch. These are stories that make you think, make you laugh, and make you uncomfortable in the way that only smart fiction can.” —Rita Chang-Eppig, author of DEEP AS THE SKY, RED AS THE SEA

“Brilliant and fearless, Women! In! Peril! is an utterly original collection. Jessie Ren Marshall inhabits a thrilling range of characters-an android, space traveler, former ballerina, jilted wives and more . . . A blazing, big-hearted debut.” —Vanessa Hua, author of FORBIDDEN CITY

“With settings that span the known and unknown universe, her work explores queerness, toxic relationships with a consistent note of total weirdness.” —Autostraddle, “Most Anticipated Queer Books for Spring 2024”

Product Details
ISBN: 9781639732272
ISBN-10: 1639732276
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English