The first title from VS. Books: darkly humorous stories about a young woman floating in and out of her skin, trying on identities imposed on her by others.
In Téa Mutonji’s disarming debut story collection, a woman contemplates her Congolese traditions during a family wedding, a teenage girl looks for happiness inside a pack of cigarettes, a mother reconnects with her daughter through their shared interest in fish, and a young woman decides to shave her head in the waiting room of an abortion clinic.
These punchy, sharply observed stories blur the lines between longing and choosing, exploring the narrator’s experience as an involuntary one. Tinged with pathos and humour, they interrogate the moments in which femininity, womanness, and identity are not only questioned but also imposed.
Shut Up You’re Pretty is the first book to be published under VS. Books, a series curated and edited by writer/musician Vivek Shraya featuring work by new and emerging Indigenous or Black writers, or writers of colour.