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Cat Brushing

A collection of stories by

A rousing and original debut story collection that probes the erotic, emotional, and intellectual lives of elder women, CAT BRUSHING will be published in the author’s 80th year.  

CAT BRUSHING, the provocative debut by Jane Campbell, vigorously explores the sensual worlds of thirteen older women, unearthing their passions, libidinal appetites, integrity, and sense of self as they fight against prevalent misconceptions and stereotypes of the aging.

Written in spikey, incisive prose, this alluring cast of characters overcomes the notion that elder women’s behavior must be in some way monitored and controlled. Susan falls in love with her beautiful young caregiver Miffy, and embarks on an intense emotional relationship within the confines of her nursing home. Linda seeks out her former lover, Malik, despite having left him years ago to return to her settled marriage to Bill. Daisy, who, by a curious stroke of fate, finds herself at the funeral of her former boyfriend, Tim, relives their early life together, his betrayal of her and the anguish of that time. Martha, mourning her small dog whom she believes has been killed by the home care staff, works out how to manage a robot designed to record her behavior, and get her revenge.  And the narrator of the title story, “Cat Brushing,” communes with her elegant, soft Siamese, reflecting on the sexual pleasures of her past.

The timeless wisdom and dark wit of debut writer Jane Campbell inspires and challenges, shocks and comforts as she examines the inner lives of women who fight to lead the rest of their lives on their own terms.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"I loved these fresh, wry, strange stories; by turns moving and unnerving, they disturb expectations of the longings, loves and ambitions of older women." - Megan Hunter

"Cat Brushing is a fierce and fascinating debut. I loved these women who have taken off their gloves to fight life with their bare hands." - Lily King

"Jane Campbell is a wonder! It's her clear-eyed vision, rendered in prose as crisp as bone china, that had me rapt. This book flings open a heretofore shuttered window, giving us an invigoratingly fresh and absolutely essential view of the psychology and emotions and appetites of aging women. Jane Campbell, where have you been? We've needed you for a very, very long time." - Jamie Quatro

"In thirteen revivifying stories, thirteen candid, empathic portraits of aging women for whom desire yet smolders, Campbell proves aging is a complex sport. Some mental agility is required, some wit and wisdom. Befuddlement and remorse are a part of play, too, but the stories offer the solace of shared experience and company." - Christine Schutt

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