Spunk: A Fable
O'Reilly delivers a fascinating novel about a group of women and girls who, in postapocalyptic New York City, belong to an Amazonian society that believes men are no longer a necessity in the world. In an effort to survive, the women—who live in a forest that now covers Manhattan—capture men to perpetuate their community, only to exterminate them when they have served their purpose. O'Reilly's characters are well drawn, and her prose straightforward and startling: "At first, and at Buffy's suggestion, the women had tried a sort of rough-and-ready castration technique that involved twine and a sharp knife, but the results were predictable: death by exsanguination." Highly original and visceral, O'Reilly's book announces itself like a newborn baby straight from the womb: with a guttural cry that abounds with possibility.