You Are the Snake: Stories (Paperback)

You Are the Snake: Stories By Juliet Escoria Cover Image
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From the celebrated author of Juliet the Maniac comes a collection of previously unpublished stories concerned with girlhood, family, and urge, reminiscent of Mary Gaitskill and Laura van den Berg

In You Are the Snake, we peer into the life of a community college student, the life of an abusive grandmother is imagined, and a young woman takes up gardening. Escoria’s characters are trying their best, or they aren't, as they bump against the boundaries of society's expectations. 

Exploiting the form of the short story in a voice entirely her own, You Are the Snake resists easy moralizing by subverting our expectations of how narrative functions. While Escoria plumbs the depth of girlhood and new womanhood, she leaves room for oddness, impulse, and yearning. Each story contains its own world, be it the suburbs of California or the mountains of West Virginia, but taken as a whole, this collection is expanding and challenging, corrupting expectations about what women can be and what they can write.

Juliet Escoria’s writing has been called “vivid,” “fantastic,” “sharp,” and “singularly honest,” and this collection delivers the “charged eloquence” of her previous work, in addition to the maturity and style of a new format—the short story—which is a dream fit for her “electricity that pulsates from within the prose.”

About the Author

Juliet Escoria is the author of the novel Juliet the Maniac (Melville House, May 2019), which was named a "best of" book by Nylon, Elle, Buzzfeed, and others, and was shortlisted for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Prize. She also wrote the poetry collection Witch Hunt (Lazy Fascist Press, 2016) and the story collection Black Cloud (CCM/Emily Books, 2014), which were both listed in various best of the year roundups. Her writing can be found in places like Prelude, VICE, The Fader, BOMB, and the New York Times, and has been translated into many languages. She was born in Australia, raised in San Diego, and currently lives in West Virginia, where she teaches English at a community college.

Praise For…

The Orange County Register, A New Spring Book You Won't Want to Miss
Nylon, A Most Anticipated Book of the Year

Literary Hub, A Most Anticipated Title

"Cult favorite Juliet Escoria left San Diego for West Virginia and is back with a new collection of stories full of razor-sharp insights." —Jim Ruland, Los Angeles Times

"Sharp stories that resist moralizing and leave room for the beautiful, foggy grey areas." —Sophia June, Nylon

"Juliet Escoria isn’t afraid of writing monstrous characters . . . These stories are daring and intricately crafted. But what’s really powerful about them is that, somehow, the reader still comes away sympathizing with the characters . . . The attention she pays to her characters’ darkest inner desires and the unflattering truths she dares to uncover feel more honest than most contemporary fiction." —Emily Gould, The Cut

"You Are the Snake expounds upon Juliet Escoria’s original and charming voice. Examining girlhood, desire, and yearning, Escoria’s stories are jolts of electricity that call to mind Mary Gaitskill, Elle Nash, or Julia Armfield, often pulling you in in just a few quick moments." —Sam Franzini, Our Culture Mag

"You are the Snake is evidence of a life lived on the edge of a knife . . . This book feels like a triumph . . . a model for how writing about darkness need not always come implied with a whip or a prayer, but with a ruthless eye and a killer sense of humor." —Blake Butler, Dividual

"You are the Snake [is] poised to become an instant classic." —Barrie Miskin, Write or Die

"The stories in Escoria's fourth book are kaleidoscopic; they shift and fall into a colorful blur." —Booklist

"Escoria vividly captures her characters’ shared worlds. These charged and often startling stories hit hard." —Publishers Weekly

"Short stories that expose the rages, obsessions, and plights of girls and women." —Kirkus Reviews

You Are the Snake is an excellent book. The writing is beautiful and calm, and the characters seemingly placid, but in each story lurks the human capacity for cruelty. Every detail seemed perfectly chosen to unnerve or enlighten. I could not stop reading, and I loved every story.” —Halle Butler, author of The New Me

"A sharply observed and unflinching collection that perfectly captures the electric joys and sorrows of living a half-feral life." —Jenny Offill, author of Weather and Department of Speculation

"Smart and grimy, raw and moving. There is no one making more interesting work than Juliet Escoria. These stories are so beautiful and make me so uncomfortable, but that’s Escoria for you." —Chelsea Martin, author of Tell Me I'm an Artist

Product Details
ISBN: 9781593767747
ISBN-10: 1593767749
Publisher: Soft Skull
Publication Date: June 18th, 2024
Pages: 256
Language: English