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Shut Up You’re Pretty

Stories
Written by: Téa Mutonji
Narrated by: Jemeni
Length: 4 hrs and 18 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Finalist, Rogers Writers’ Trust of Canada Fiction Prize; Finalist, Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction; a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year.

In Téa Mutonji’s disarming debut story collection, a woman contemplates her Congolese traditions during a family wedding, a teenage girl looks for happiness inside a pack of cigarettes, a mother reconnects with her daughter through their shared interest in fish, and a young woman decides to shave her head in the waiting room of an abortion clinic. These punchy, sharply observed stories blur the lines between longing and choosing, exploring the narrator’s experience as an involuntary one. Tinged with pathos and humor, they interrogate the moments in which femininity, womanness, and identity are not only questioned but also imposed. 

Shut Up You’re Pretty is the first book to be published under the imprint VS. Books, a series of books curated and edited by writer-musician Vivek Shraya featuring work by new and emerging indigenous or black writers or writers of color. 

Bespeak Audio Editions brings Canadian voices to the world with audiobook editions of some of the country’s greatest works of literature, performed by Canadian actors.

©2019 Téa Mutonji (P)2020 Bespeak Audio Editions

What the critics say

“The stories are vivid and unsettling in their detail.... Mutonji writes with grit and quick-witted humour. The ease with which these stories unfold is a facet of the author’s craft: the prose holds its emotion in the same way the characters hold their pain.” (Quill & Quire, starred review)

“Each story is a separate, richly-described glimpse into an aspect of the protagonist’s life, and together they form a whole picture of a young woman who is struggling to understand herself and her world.” (Book Riot)

“A sense of assuredness permeates Mutonji’s writing in Shut Up You’re Pretty. Through a series of 18 strikingly raw vignettes, Loli’s identity flows like the Congolese river she is named after.” (Toronto Star)

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