Bummer: And Other Stories
Janice Shapiro (Author)
Buy new or used from an indie through our partner Biblio:
DescriptionA clever and engaging collection of "darkly funny, sexy, and very smart" stories about women on the brink of disaster--and the edge of grace (Tom Perrotta). The women featured in these stories have one thing in common: They're all having a terrible day. There's the housewife so entranced by the pristine order of her neighbor's belongings that she can't stop herself from breaking into their home. There's the mother easing her young son through the trauma of a murder, suddenly confronted with the reappearance of his father. There's the middle-aged woman stuck in a coffee-chain job alongside snotty college kids, the talent manager supervising a corral of misguided young stars, and the spiky-haired artist who literally dumps her slacker fiance--from a moving car--before engaging in an ill-advised fling in Vegas. Janice Shapiro has created a cast of utterly distinct outsiders, yet her earthy warmth and asymmetrical humor ring through them all. Her gift for pitch-perfect dialogue--along with her instinctual ease in writing about such fraught topics as commercial sex, death, and the everyday tragedies of growing older--makes her voice one to be relished: tough-minded, sardonic, intimate, and free.
November 01, 2010
5.52 X 8.04 X 0.57 inches | 0.46 pounds
Earn by promoting books
Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.Become an affiliate
About the Author
Janice Shapiro is the author of Bummer and Other Stories. Her stories and comics have been published in The North American Review, 52 Stories, The Santa Monica Review, Everyday Genius, and Real Pants, among others. Janice's graphic essay on her childhood crush on John Lennon appears in the anthology Crush. She lives in Berkeley, California.
Praise for Bummer "The stories of Janice Shapiro's debut collection, Bummer, are told in a voice so natural and earnest, in sentences that so resemble the searching way we speak, you may just forget you're reading a book." --The Brooklyn Rail "The attitude of these short fictions is as spiky as the green Mohawk coiffure worn by Alison, the narrator of the title story . . . These stories speak with a bold, distinctive voice indicative of intelligence and offbeat, cynical humor." --Boston Globe "Shapiro's agile voice, generous humor, and balance of the tragic and vulnerable keep potentially depressing or ludicrous moments from sliding into cheap melodrama or cheekiness . . . Shapiro refreshingly writes with a brisk voice that casually balances the preposterous and the mundane. Grounding these stories is the clarity of Shapiro's vision of these women's inner lives, the way fears and desires are entangled, the way motivations for action get thwarted by the safety of inaction." --Baltimore City Paper "Janice Shapiro has a powerful narrative drive and a brilliant ear for dialogue. These stories are funny, wrenching, and always smart. Reading them is a rare pleasure." --Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love "Shapiro's 11 stories offer engaging and clever portraits of characters dealing with life's troubling side effects." --Booklist "In the best of these stories, the women bravely gather up every scrap of 'cockeyed dignity' they have and forge ahead. They may know from the beginning that the house always wins, but they haven't given up . . . [Bummer's stories] are captivating in their unflinching portrayals of individuals confronting a largely hostile or indifferent world." --The Rumpus "Crisp, refreshing and affecting." --Kirkus (starred review) "Darkly funny, sexy, and very smart." --Tom Perrotta "This amazingly gutsy, fully voiced book bears comparison with the best work of Antonya Nelson, Mary Gaitskill, Lydia Davis, Amy Hempel, and Lorrie Moore." --David Shields, author of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto "The breath of life flows through every one of Janice Shapiro's wonderful stories, and you can feel the heart beating very close to the surface. Bummer is terrifically smart, with a kind of comic energy that can swerve at any moment into eloquent brokenheartedness. I loved this book." --Charles Baxter, author of The Feast of Love "Janice Shapiro's Bummer is bold, brave, and bitingly clever. Defying stereotypes and easy characterizations, Shapiro's female characters are sharp, intelligent, rebellious, bighearted, stubborn, independent, and emotionally fraught all at once. Shapiro's keen ear for dialogue and her deep and appealing humor make this collection an undeniable pleasure to read." -Victoria Patterson, author of Drift: Stories and This Vacant Paradise