I’ve been a fan of Lynn Mundell’s writing ever since I discovered her work in 2015. So when her debut collection, Let Our Bodies Be Returned to Us, won the Yemassee 2021 Fiction Prize, I was not surprised.
Mundell is a master of the darkly funny and tenderly magical, and this collection is a triumph of female empowerment.
Several of these 20 stories are about girls and women who are intrigued by their own sexuality. But they are arrested from discovering what they want or possess. Before they get the chance, they are appropriated by men, their male gaze and male demands and male hands.
The title story “Let Our Bodies Be Returned to Us” is a humorous yet forceful appeal to free women from injustices such as Spanx, ravenous eyes, and 24-Hour Fitness.
“Don’t worry, you needn’t see our kind again. Once sorted and organized, we will find our ways home, to deserts, oceans, and mountains, to rejoin our wild, endangered kin—butterflies, sea turtles, bees, wolves.”
Please read my full review at Bending Genres.
And then hurry to the publisher who’s now taking orders for a reprint!
Let Our Bodies Be Returned to Us by Lynn Mundell (Yemassee Journal/University of South Carolina, 2022)
Recommendations of other short story collections: