Genevieve Plunkett
PREPARE HER: Stories (Catapult, 2021) 

Brilliant, biting stories set in not-so bucolic Vermont, land of antique stores, small towns, fading farms, and young women trying to figure out marriage, motherhood, sex and their own power.

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’s stories have been published in New England ReviewSouthern ReviewWillow SpringsCrazyhorseWest BranchMassachusetts Review, Arts & Letters, JuxtaProse, and elsewhere. She is the winner of an O. Henry Prize in 2017, and her story, “The Buried Man,” appeared in The Best Small Fictions 2018, guest edited by Aimee Bender. She is a recipient of the St. Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artist Award in Literature. A graduate of Bennington College with a degree in literature, she lives in Bennington, Vermont. She is at work on a novel.