The eleven stories in Sweetlust interweave feminist critique, intertextuality, and science fiction tropes in an irreverent portrait of our past, present, and future.
In a dystopian world with no men, women are “rehabilitated” at an erotic amusement park. Climate change has caused massive flooding and warming in the Balkans, where one programmer builds a time machine. And a devious reimagining of The Sorrows of Young Werther refocuses to center a sexually adventurous Charlotte.
Asja Bakić deploys the speculative and weird to playfully interrogate conversations around artificial intelligence, gender fluidity, and environmental degradation. As she did in her acclaimed debut Mars, Bakić once again upends her characters’ convictions and identities—and infuses each disorienting universe with sly humor and off-kilter eroticism. Visceral and otherworldly, Sweetlust takes apart human desire and fragility, repeatedly framing pleasure as both inviting and perilous.
“In the daring, imaginative short stories of Asja Bakić’s Sweetlust, strong-minded women fight for survival and search for meaning in disturbing dystopian worlds.” —Foreword Reviews, starred review
“Filled with a satisfying energy.” —Booklist
“Bakić second collection, following Mars, offers spectral, speculative tales of womanhood’s fluidity and ferality. “ —Electric Literature
“In these stories, the fantastic is a dark mirror of our basest desires that looks back at us, giving us just what we want, regardless of the consequences.” —Autostraddle
“Bakić explores science and desire in this delightful and offbeat collection.” —Publishers Weekly
“Occasionally disturbing and always intoxicating, Sweetlust is well worth the read, and difficult to put down.” —BUST
“These stories find Bakić exploring everything from climate change to society and gender, making for a provocative and emotionally engaging read.” —Tor
“This is an equal parts weird and skillfully witty collection and very much worth the read.” —The Brooklyn Rail
“ The incisiveness with which [these stories] are written and the perceptiveness with which they explore their subjects makes for a cohesive and satisfying read.” —Words Without Borders
"Vivid yet nuanced, mysterious and sexy, each one of Asja Bakić’s stories creates its own dangerous universe. This miraculous collection enraptured me again and again." —Chana Porter, author of The Seep
"Haunting, funny, and delightfully surreal, Asja Bakić’s stories push fiction into exciting and unexpected realms of imagination. A visceral dive into the perils and pleasures of the human condition." —Aditi Khorana, author of The Library of Fates
“In Sweetlust, Asja Bakić takes on gender, society, literature, climate change, and time travel with such extraordinary ease that one might be fooled into believing such mastery is easy. The narrative is quick and sharp while, almost deceptively, shedding strange and revelatory light on some of the most intimidating subjects of our age. Evocative of the work of Joyce Carol Oates and Leonora Carrington, Asja Bakić—aided by a brilliant translator—delivers a perfectly discordant punch to the gut of matters few dare touch. Truly fearless writing strikes real fear in the heart of a reader, and in this way, Sweetlust is a truly frightful book, and Asja Bakić a singular terror.” —Lina Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas, author of Don’t Come Back
"Sweetlust rollicks and seethes with a rakish energy, part hilarious, part bone-chilling. Translated brilliantly by Jennifer Zoble, these stories zip back and forth across the centuries. Never a dull moment! —Ellen Elias-Bursać, translator
“As she did in her acclaimed debut Mars, Bakić once again upends her characters’ convictions and identities—and infuses each disorienting universe with sly humor and off-kilter eroticism.” —Sara Luce Look, Charis Books & More