A woman orders a sex doll for her husband’s birthday. A man makes films without a camera. A married couple take turns to sit in an electric chair. Cathy Sweeney’s wonderfully inventive debut collection offers snapshots of an unsettling, dislocated world. Surprising and uncanny, funny and transgressive, these stories only look like distortions of reality.
“In its sparseness, astonishments, and cyclical twists, the fairy tale has something in common with the 20th-century European absurd, which follows funny, appalling patterns of repetition. Cathy Sweeney brings together these two traditions in her brilliant debut short story collection, Modern Times.”
—Catherine Toal, The Irish Times
“I loved this collection. It vibrates with a glorious strangeness! Magnificently weird, hugely entertaining, deeply profound.”
“Cathy Sweeney’s work is jaw-droppingly good: inventive, funny, lush. One of the best short story writers working today.”
“In Modern Times, Cathy Sweeney gives us fables of the present that are funny, vertiginous and melancholy.”