Watching Women & Girls

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What to expect


Chosen as one of the ‘best new book releases’ by COSMOPOLITAN



A ‘best summer read’ by ELLE MAGAZINE

When you look at a woman, who do you see?

“Every aspect of her body or personality was up for inspection: too big, too small, too available, too hidden, too much, not enough.”

A wedding day brings back memories of sisterhood and betrayals; a motorway service station is the site of explosive violence, but also strange bonds; a trip home forces a reminder of a life-changing, lost friendship; a woman confronts her own infidelity; an artist celebrates a life spent in observation.

This debut collection movingly explores how women and girls are looked at, look at one another, and look at themselves, and how living as an object can shape their passions, fears, and joys. With a clear eye and dark humour, Danielle Pender considers sex, parenting, grief and class as lenses for the ways in which the world watches women — and how women are always watching back.

Critics Review

  • ‘Watching Women and Girls is a searing meditation on the moments that make, and break, us. As canny as they are entertaining, these stories are packed with emotional intelligence, capturing the dark and the light of the female experience in a series of vignettes that every one of us will in some way relate to. I loved it.’
    CHARLOTTE PHILBY, AUTHOR OF THE SECOND WOMAN

    Vibrant, intense and darkly comic this is a powerful and thoughtful collection told through closely observed, spellbinding characters that stay with you.’
    ABIGAIL BERGSTROM, AUTHOR OF WHAT A SHAME

    ‘A page-flipping joy of a read. Pender is a generous writer and observer of society who incisively captures what it is to be a woman in our times.’
    CHARLOTTE JANSEN, AUTHOR OF GIRL ON GIRL

    ‘Smart and astute, funny and wry; a catalogue of the modern conditions of dating, working and being. It encouraged me to pay more attention to the world around me and the secret lives of those in it.’
    AMELIA ABRAHAM, AUTHOR OF QUEER INTENTIONS

    ‘To see, be seen and know that you are, always, being watched. That is the experience of being a woman today. This thoughtful, meditative and, at times, absurdly funny collection is a reminder that someone is, always, looking right back.’
    VICKY SPRATT, AUTHOR OF TENANTS

    ‘A beautifully written exploration of woman and girlhood, with all of its contradictions and quirks. Danielle is a sharp new talent.’
    SIRIN KALE


    Chosen as one of the ‘best new book releases’ by COSMOPOLITAN



    A ‘best summer read’ by ELLE MAGAZINE

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