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Ten Women Who Shook the World (Signed by author)

Brownrigg, Sylvia

67 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0374272891 / ISBN 13: 9780374272890
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux, New York, 2000
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Monroe Street Books (Middlebury, VT, U.S.A.)

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SIGNED AND DATED BY AUTHOR on title page. Clean, unmarked copy in excellent condition. Record # 809866. Bookseller Inventory # 809866

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Ten Women Who Shook the World (Signed by ...

Publisher: Farrar Straus and Giroux, New York

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


New Fiction By The Author Whose "Sweet, Sad, Smart, Sexy First Novel Humanizes Cyberspace" (Newsweek).

"On Mars they had microwaves. It's some way of heating food instantly--you can bake a potato in a matter of seconds, reheat coffee in the blink of an eye. In addition they have the convenience of toaster ovens and high-speed blenders . . . And they were just now developing the technology to make an alarm clock that could read your mind and go off exactly when you wanted it to--by playing whatever music you were in the mood for." --from "Mars Needs Women!"

Like the Mars it describes, Sylvia Brownrigg's short fiction is weird, wonderful, and disarmingly everyday. The ten stories of this debut collection feature women who build pyramids, organize an all-bird production of Hamlet, make and model conceptual art--and just might have been, once upon a time, the girl next door.


After the critical success of Sylvia Brownrigg's first novel, The Metaphysical Touch, her American publishers have been inspired to release a collection of her earlier stories. Ten Women Who Shook the World appeared in England in 1997 and was equally well received, though on a smaller scale. Brownrigg's spare, animated prose is beautifully suited to this shorter, less elastic form, and if readers are willing to relax their expectations for traditional plot development and setting, they will find these tales sly and exhilarating, recalling the avant-garde fictions of Rebecca Brown, Leon Rooke, and Mary Caponegro. In "Amazon," a female contractor and her thoughtful assistant casually build the Egyptian pyramids, Chartres Cathedral, and the Taj Mahal. "The pyramids themselves went up in three days," the contractor remarks, "And that was with coffee breaks, siestas, time to talk on the phone--everything. I just don't believe in this workaholic business." Among the best stories in this sparkling but uneven collection are "She Who Caught Buses," which captures the dark imagination of childhood, and "The Bird Chick," which describes the rise and fall of a theatrical genius who stages Hamlet in a city park with a native cast of waterfowl. Before her ambitions become known, she quietly rehearses her performers on the cool gray pond that has become a second home to her. "You couldn't tell at first what was taking place out there," notes the narrator, a fellow parkgoer.

But out of the corner of your eye, that eye you used to turn away from her because you'd labeled her a crazy, you did start to notice some strange behavior among the waterfowl. They seemed to swim more in formation. They held their heads higher. When children proffered stale bread crusts there was less feverish gratitude. The bird chick, in rehearsing them, had encouraged in them the beginnings of self-respect, which was bound to alter the way they dealt with everyone else in the park.
Clarity and the fantastic rarely go together, and this is one of the many pleasures of Brownrigg's debut. With its deeply experienced, unnamed places and its quick observations of character, Ten Women is a sort of traveler's volume, as urgent as the jottings made in a road journal and as suggestive as the pages left blank. --Regina Marler

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