I ended up reading it one sitting because it was one of those books you literally cannot put down. The stories in this collection are smart and imaginative and strange and fearless in their execution. It is readily evident why this book won the Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction. A great deal of care and handling went into these stories ... In each of these stories, Nutting is, above all making beautiful sense of the human condition ... The balance between the unfamiliar and impossible with the familiar is what makes Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls such a great book ... You should definitely check this book out. It will take you places and teach you things.
...[a] lively, well-imagined, and jaw-droppingly smart prize-winning debut ... imagine Donald Barthelme writing smart feminine narratives, Mary Gaitskill sans the kinky sex, or Margaret Atwood turning to dry, Colbert-style humor, and you may start to get an idea of what to expect ... Each story catapults the reader into the wicked world of Nutting’s witty imagination ... Yet, in spite of the sometimes impressionistic, sometimes realist, sometimes naïve-painting-inspired settings, the characters remain painfully familiar ... Nutting is especially brilliant when revealing the dysfunctional layers of her characters’ otherwise glib and (mostly) carefree lives ... Unclean Jobs harnesses this type of Jerry Springer drama to bring humor and postmodern insights to these action-packed short stories ... Alissa Nutting’s fiction more than satisfies.
Perverted and beautiful, these stories deal with the shame of having bodies, and the ways in which we use them to corrupt each other ... The stories are boozy, unnerving, and funny. If Mary Gaitskill and Julio Cortázar together birthed a piglet, it could very well be this collection ... What I find important about Nutting's work is the abandonment of rules, of any boundaries placed on a text by genre. It isn't about 'magical realism' or 'science fiction' so much as it is about bored bodies leaking in the afternoon.