There’s a hole in the ozone layer. Are teenage girls to blame?
Floods and wildfires, toxic culture, billionaires in outer space, or a purse-related disaster while on mushrooms—in today’s hellscape world, there’s no shortage of things to worry about. Last Woman, the new collection of short fiction by award-winning author Carleigh Baker, wants you to know that you’re not alone. In these 13 brilliant new stories, Baker and her perfectly-drawn characters are here for you—in fact, they’re just as worried and weirded-out as everyone else.
A woman’s dream of poetic solitude turns out to be a recipe for loneliness. A retiree is convinced that his silence is the only thing that will prevent a deadly sinkhole. An emerging academic wakes up and chooses institutional violence. A young woman finds sisterhood in a strange fertility ritual, and an enigmatic empath is on a cleanse. Baker’s characters are both wildly misguided and a product of the misguided times in which we live. Through them we see our world askew and skewered—and, perhaps, we can begin to see it anew.
Carleigh Baker’s signature style is irreverent, but her heart is true—these stories delve into fear for the future, intergenerational misunderstandings, and the complexities of belonging with sharp wit and boundless empathy. With equal parts compassion and critique, she brings her clear-eyed attention to bear on our world, and the results are hilarious, heartbreaking, and startling in their freshness.