Yearn for a life of celibacy? Why not try sealing each of your orifices one by one with silicon caulk from the hardware store until your randy husband gets the message and turns into a tree? This is a totally reasonable chain of events—if you’re a character in one of Katherine Fawcett’s dark, quirky stories. Blending banalities of everyday human dilemmas and routines with elements of fairy tales, magic, the macabre or the downright inventive, Fawcett’s fiction is anything but predictable.
One of the three little pigs launches a line of high-end, easy-to-prepare, wolf broth–based meals. The Devil is on a mission to steal a child’s soul, but is distracted when he develops a massive crush on the day-care worker. A man stands in the shower contemplating his future when he discovers tiny mushrooms growing in his body’s various nooks and crannies.
Fawcett’s wry humour and prodigious imagination make for an addictive mix. The weird becomes normal, and the normal, fascinating. In this collection, reimagined folktales appear alongside stories entirely new, serving to both defamiliarize us from the undeniably odd tales we continue to pass down generation after generation, and to lend a vague familiarity to the stories of Fawcett’s invention.
In her hilariously matter-of-fact style, Fawcett subverts all expectations and her narrative skill makes this collection a must-read for any lover of short fiction.
“I confess, I fell hook, line and sinker for Katherine Fawcett’s brand of down-to-earth fantasy. Like Greek myths, where gods behave badly and mortals aspire and expire, these darkly witty tales offer a peek-hole into a delightfully cheery version of Hades.”
“Every one of Fawcett’s stories carries two rare gems inside: a dry, dark, rollicking hilarity and a breath-catching surprise. Clear, lean, evocative, quick (in both senses of the word), earthy, accessible, and original.”
“The Swan Suit is alive with wit and insight, sometimes very funny, and busting with beautiful, unexpected images. Here is a high-voltage imagination. Wicked and charming by turns, this collection is nothing short of magical.”
“Fairytales and folktales collide with 21st-century feminism in Katherine Fawcett’s deviously imagined Swan Suit. With hilarity and heart she lays bare what it means to be human (or witch or devil or cat or wolf or entrepreneurial pig) in a world both ancient and evolving.”