Women: A Novella

Chloe Caldwell

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Book cover for Women: A Novella
Book cover for Women: A Novella

Women: A Novella

Women: A Novella

Chloe Caldwell

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One of Cosmopolitan's Best Erotic Novels of All Time

"A contemporary classic of queer women's writing." --Michelle Tea, author of Knocking Myself Up

The cult-classic novella that intimately explores one young writer's whirlwind and whiplash affair as she falls deeply in love with a woman for the first time.

Sometimes I wonder what it is I could tell you about her for my job here to be done. I am looking for a short-cut. . . .But that would be asking too much from you. It wasn't you who loved her.

A young writer moves from the country to the city and falls in love with another woman for the very first time. From the start, the relationship is doomed; Finn is nineteen years older, wears men's clothes, has a cocky smirk of a smile . . . and a long-term girlfriend.

With startling clarity and breathtaking tenderness, Chloé Caldwell writes the story of a love in reverse: of nights spent drunkenly hurling a phone against a brick wall; of early mornings hungover in bed, curled up together; of emails and poems exchanged at breakneck speed. In Women, Caldwell lays bare the fierce obsession of addictive love, and asks the question: what, if anything, can who we love teach us about who we are?

In this beautiful, transcendent, bracingly sexy novella, Caldwell tells a lust-love story that will bring you to your knees. Capturing the feverish heartbreak of Sapphic romance, painting a stark picture of an identity in crisis, and illuminating the exploratory possibilities of queer life, Women brands the heart and sears the soul.

Critical Reviews

"Brief, sharp, and utterly consuming, Women is a sublime depiction of a battle between the head and hormones. Like your first love, it lingers long after the final chapter." -- Tegan Quin, New York Times bestselling co-author of High School

"Her prose has a reckless beauty that feels to me like magic." -- Cheryl Strayed, New York Times bestselling author of Tiny Beautiful Things and Wild

"If you agree that there's no better pickup line than, "have you read Chloe Caldwell's 'Women'?", look no further than the reissue of "Women." Get horny and devastated all over again through this short but powerful story of a young woman who moves to a new city and falls under the spell of an older lesbian...who has a girlfriend but can't stay away. The updated edition of the 2014 cult favorite novella that Tegan Quin called "brief, sharp and utterly consuming" includes brand-new (spicy!) text and a foreword by queer author Katie Heaney." -- GO Magazine

"With Women, Chloe Caldwell proves great literature doesn't require the voices of men." -- Ashley Ford, author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Somebody's Daughter

"It's such a special, sacred book."
-- T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

"Raw, honest, and captivating. Caldwell writes with such precision, such naked honesty, I found myself holding my breath. A beautiful tale of love."
-- Ashley Herring Blake, bestselling author of Iris Kelly Doesn't Date

"Caldwell falls under the spell of a seductive yet withdrawn older woman in this sparks-flying, gorgeously composed queer novel that's about so much more than romantic love." -- Vogue

"Chloe Caldwell's Women is a deceptively teensy book. This is the tragicomic tale of the author's doomed relationship with an older woman and it perfectly captures the way good sex can make us throw anything under the bus - even our identities." -- Lena Dunham

"Whenever anybody is coming out, I give them a book called Women. . . . I've shipped it to people. I love that book. I give it to everybody that's coming out." -- Marja Lewis-Ryan, writer and director of The L Word: Generation Q

"A contemporary classic of queer women's writing." -- Michelle Tea, author of Knocking Myself Up

"Beautiful, touching, and brave." -- Emily Ratajkowski, writer and model

"With precision, wit and tenderness, Women charts the frenzy and the fall out of love." -- Cosmopolitan

"I read it all in one sitting, all at once, because I couldn't put it down. I loved it. I love its physical size, turning it over with one hand. I also love the size of what you put in it. I want to reread it with a pencil so I can mark things to remember." -- Zoe Kazan, writer, actress, and director

"One of the most endearing and exciting writers of a generation." -- Los Angeles Review of Books

"Heady, evocative and sensual. Caldwell's exploration of relationships and identity blends brutal and fragile truths with great skill. A remarkable talent." -- Anneliese Mackintosh, author of Any Other Mouth

"Imagine how awesome it would be to read something about a series of relationships with complicated, real women from the POV of a complicated, real woman? Pretty awesome, right? You have no idea; Caldwell's Women will blow you away." -- Brooklyn Magazine

"Joyful, honest, and perfectly unkempt, Women is a taut yet expansive story about falling in--and then trying to crawl back out of--the damp cavern that is love." -- Courtney Maum, author of The Year of Horses

"I just finished reading Women--in one sitting! I loved the emotional honesty, sexiness and sparseness of it. In its roller-coaster of emotions, it reminded me of Eileen Myles' awesome Chelsea Girls." -- Catherine Texier, author of Break Up: The End of a Love Story

"The story is powerful, hot and will have you thinking 2015 is the year of the lesbian." -- Playboy

"With Women, Chloe Caldwell is to Millennials what Anais Nin was to previous generations-a voice that is raw, intimate, thoughtful, compelling. Above all, heartbreakingly real." -- Samantha Dunn, author of Failing Paris and Not By Accident: Reconstructing a Careless Life

"Women is a skillfully and engrossingly written novel, a small slice of overwhelming love and heartbreak, and the search for belonging and self. Caldwell proves herself as a writer to watch in the coming years."
-- The Masters Review

"What is refreshing about Women is its storytelling through the female gaze, and how this informs our questioning and resolution of identity. Women doesn't profess to be a feminist novella, and I didn't notice this distinction until I meditated on why the book feels so different from classic coming-of-age fiction and memoir." -- Bustle Magazine

"How do you make a reader love someone? How do you make them feel those dizzying, crazy-making pangs of a relationship's beginning and end? Chloe Caldwell has all the answers. This is a book that, more than anything, feels completely real." -- Lit Hub

"A beautiful story about the author's ?rst same-sex love affair, manages to address frankly how different it is to be with a woman without making sexual orientation itself the subject or the obstacle of her story." -- Autostraddle

"Women is an ode to heartbreak, an allowance to seep in the pain."
-- Write or Die

Publishing Information

Publisher: Harper Perennial
Pub date: 2024-06-04
Length: 160 pages
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