Ten Women Who Shook The World

“She’s a gentle writer; a true original.” —Elaine Feinstein, The Times

“I’m too tall to be a girl, I never had enough dresses to be a lady, and I wouldn’t call myself a woman. I’m somewhere between a chick and a broad.”
Julia Roberts

Why is the world not what it seems? Is it true that moons make good lovers? Are deserts the best places to go to lose weight, and how would you design the Great Wall if someone commissioned you to?

These are some of the urgent questions raised in the starkly original tales of Ten Women Who Shook the World. Across a series of vivid, untamed landscapes these characters wander in search of the obvious—love, fame, a good recipe for canapés—as well as the less obvious. In Hussie from the West the narrator undertakes a long erotic quest for satisfaction; in Amazon a pair of women build the pyramids and several other of the world’s wonders. Wherever these maverick women travel, their bold, comical voices urge us to follow.

Included in the 2000 Los Angeles Times Book Review‘s selections of best fictions of the year; one of BookSense‘s fiction selections in 2001.


Available in hardcover and paperback.



“A literary merry prankster who delights in taking artistic risks and dreaming up all sorts of odd ways to compel our attention.” —Dan Cryer, Newsday

“Entertaining because it is like watching a beautiful swimmer. . . Brownrigg swans through the shallow water, down to the depths of subconsciousness and back up again, not only breathing but also laughing.” —Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Ten clever tales in a philosophical vein, often delicately surreal. . . Whimsy and wit float through these stories like fairy dust, and… can bring about wonder and delight.” —Kirkus Reviews

“There is something fragile, yet life-affirming about Brownrigg’s contemporary stories, which engage the reader and never let go.” —Library Journal

“Brownrigg fearlessly combines surrealism, fantasy, and broad (no pun intended) comedy in ten short tales about women who don’t quite fit into the conventional universe. How do you classify stories like these? Who cares? Just enjoy.” —John Mark Eberhart, Kansas City Star

“Done with considerable subtlety, compression, and panache, and the result is unexpectedly touching. . . Brownrigg has produced a set of imaginative modern fables.” —The Observer