A collection of stories set in a not-so bucolic Vermont, a land of antique stores, small towns, fading farms, and young women trying to figure out marriage, motherhood, sex and their own power.
by Genevieve Plunkett
Catapult, July 2021
PREPARE HER tells the stories of young women at the brink of discovering their own power. The crossroads in their lives are not always the obvious kind—divorce, motherhood, coming of age—but sometimes much more private and dramatic. Kitty discovers that her ex-boyfriend has committed a murder; Renee navigates a friendship with Arla, a Jehovah’s Witness; Emi realizes that her boyfriend is fetishizing her mental illness; Petra acts recklessly when faced with a client with a gun; and Rachel must grapple with the reality of raising a daughter in a world that she, herself, is still terrified of.
Tempered by its rural and often haunting Vermont setting, this book explores the complexities of gender and power imbalances in a way that transforms normal life into something mysterious, uncharted, and sometimes bewildering. Through this lens, we can see the many subtle, yet staggering injustices endured by the women at the center of these stories, as well as identify what, or who might be responsible.
Genevieve Plunkett is the recipient of an O. Henry Award. Her work has also appeared in The Best Small Fictions, and journals such as New England Review, The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, The Colorado Review, and Willow Springs. She lives in Vermont with her two children. She is at work on her debut novel, which is also forthcoming from Catapult.