The stories in David Constantine’s fifth collection all orbit around a moment of personal crisis, a pressure point where the weight of the past or the present becomes unbearable. These crises may be brought on by a bereavement, a personal failure or trauma, or a crisis of identity. But in all cases, what’s at stake is a life worth living.
The truth was that if a woman bit a man in an office environment, there would be a strong assumption that the man had done something to deserve it. From the creator of ‘Cat Person’ – the first short story to go viral – comes ‘Cat Person and Other Stories’, a compulsive collection about sex, dating and modern life. These are stories of women’s lives now. They also happen to be horror stories. In some, women endure the horror. In others, they inflict it. Here are women at work, at home, on dates, at the doctor’s, with their families and with their friends. Here are women grappling with desire, punishment, guilt and anger. These are stories that make you feel fascinated but repelled, scared but delighted, revolted but aroused.
This collection takes us to Glanbeigh, a small town in rural Ireland – a town in which the youth have the run of the place. Boy racers speed down the back lanes; couples haunt the midnight woods; young skins huddle in the cold once The Peacock has closed its doors. Here the young live hard and wear the scars. It matters whose sister you were seen with. If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, it matters a very great deal.