My small collection of pornographic fairy tales is published today.
It's cheap & there's lots of sex in it.
Marina Warner in The Guardian says: "surreal, bawdy and inventive (wickedly so)."
Ellie Broughton of The Erotic Review says: "like The Bloody Chamber after a couple of gins... swollen with surreal eroticism and a weird, lavish imagination."
Claire Lowdon at The Times Literary Supplement called Grow A Pair, "a collection of hilarious, nimbly interlinked “fairy tales about sex”. It reminded me of Nicholson Baker’s House of Holes, only Walsh’s book is shorter (a good thing in this case), dirtier and even funnier."
Julian Gough: "Joanna Walsh is one of the funniest, most subversive writers out there. "Grow A Pair" rocks... Grow a Pair has the delicious, deadpan lunacy of some prime JG Ballard, but sexier & funnier... I attended the launch. One of the funniest readings I've ever been at."
LitHub: "A sense of play runs throughout the stories in Grow a Pair, which deal in numerous fairy-tale archetypes: mysterious forests, witches causing mischief, and the malleability of flesh."
LA Review of Books: "love child of Harry Mathews’s Singular Pleasures and Amelia Gray’s AM/PM... The stories are... peculiar and deeply queer, a mix of penetration and frottage, and set in a kingdom where sex is a unit of understanding; foregone conclusion and miracle both... beneath its surreal, explicit skin, it is an astute exploration of the many permutations and complications of desire."
Sydney Review of Books: "The Girl and the Penis-Bush fuses two rarely communicative strains of writing: blue collar minimalism with the sexually phantasmagoric... Walsh takes that most familiar of short story endings – the Carveresque meaning-laden moment left unresolved – and overhauls it wholly, renovating clichés and genre... Polyamorous fuckfests abound, but no-one seems very happy... there’s an invention here – fizzing, liberated – that traces a path back home (once lost at sea, now on foot via a detour to the Penis-Bush). This short book contains the only useful message a good writer and engaged reader need to hear: there are more stories to come."
Dubravka Ugresic said "It's excellent, light, funny, all in all: tiny book -- a great read!"
Naomi Frisby of The Writes of Women: "It’s a confident collection, satisfying in terms of its links between stories as characters paths cross at different points. It’s also highly entertaining as well as being smart and thoughtful."
You can buy the book at all the usual places, or order it direct from the publisher.
You can also read one of the stories for free at Berfrois.
For review copies, or just copies (if you can't find one locally), here's the contact.
The TLS says, of Grow A Pair's excellent publisher, Readux: Ambition aside, everything about Readux Books is small-scale. The Berlin-based publisher only came into being two years ago; since then it has brought out Just twenty books, in five series of four. The books themselves are pocket-sized ("teeny", as the website has it), no more than 10,000 words long, and "affordable: about the same amount you'd pay for a fancy cup of coffee". The publisher's intention, it seems, is to make them appear as unthreatening as possible, something you'd pick up on impulse Just as you might spend your loose change on a chocolate bar; certainly, the books themselves, decked out in gorgeous tissue-paper shades of pink, green and blue, are as tempting as confectionery. But don't be fooled: for all their pretty packaging and digestible dimensions, these are serious books: attentive, cerebral and bold.