No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll

No Man of Woman Born by is a fantastic and much needed collection of short stories about prophecies, expectations, and societal assumptions. 

My absolute favorite is "Early To Rise", it was a refreshing retelling of a story I already know and yet I was blown away. The author did a fantastic job with that one in particular. I also love the titular story, "No Man of Woman Born". I love how it's more about the character's self-reflection in reference to the prophecy, making it feel like that story in particular continues after this snippet is over. A few of the stories had predictable twists, but I still loved them even when I wasn't surprised. I spend a lot of time thinking about pronouns, presentation, and gender expectations, so your mileage may vary on whether you see the endings coming. Just seeing this many subversive ways for gender-based prophecies to be fulfilled was a treat. The collection feels cohesive, and even though all the stories are about different ideas of gender no two solutions were alike. There's quite a bit of darkness there but it's handled with care in everything from the phrasing to the perspectives to putting CWs for individual chapters.

Definitely check this one out, it's a great collection of much-needed stories; may there be many more like it.

The index has CWs for each story individually (which is such a great move for a short story collection), but here are the CWs for all the stories combined: violence, sexualized violence, bloodshed, community ableism, sacrificial victims, self-sacrifice, border walls, population purges, mention of self-harm, death of family, death of child, misgendering, parental bigotry, magical curses, non-consensual kissing, governmental oppression, mention of emergency cesarean births, mention of rape.

Clear Your Shit Readathon 2020 prompt: Shortest Book

A person with flowing pink hair in a white dress holds a sword in front of them.


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