Last One Out Shut Off the Lights

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Product Details

Little Brown and Company
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.3 X 1.0 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Stephanie Soileau's fiction has appeared in Tin House, Oxford American, and Glimmer Train, among other magazines, and has been reprinted numerous times in New Stories from the South. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has been a Stegner Fellow at Stanford as well as an NEA and Provincetown Fellow. Originally from Lake Charles, Louisiana, Soileau now lives in Chicago and teaches at the University of Chicago.


"Last One Out Shut Off the Lights is a knockout. Stephanie Soileau conjures southern Louisiana in all its unlikely specificity, the tank farms and check-cashing joints, the mobile-home dealerships and chemical plants. Her characters are as complicated and surprising as your most impossible relatives---maddening, ridiculous, heartbreaking, heroic. I loved this book."--Jennifer Haigh, New York Times bestselling author of The Condition
"These hilarious and heartbreaking stories follow outcasts of all stripes. What carries us through is Stephanie Soileau's remarkable voice---honest, bracing, and always emphatic---as she introduces us to these unforgettable characters and allows us to disappear a little into their lives. Last One Out Shut Off the Lights is a beautiful collection about the complication of home and the difficulty of belonging. I loved these stories."--Brit Bennett, New York Times bestselling author of The Mothers
"Stephanie Soileau is a natural-born storyteller, and Last One Out Shut Off the Lights is flooded with heartache and soul and humor and wisdom. As one of her narrators says, Brace yourself now. This is an outstanding and wide-ranging collection, plain and simple."--Peter Orner, National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and author of Maggie Brown & Others

"Stephanie Soileau is a brilliant writer---funny, fearless, generous, and wise---and Last One Out Shut Off the Lights is one of the most savage, heartbreaking, and powerful collections I've read in many years. I can't stop thinking about it. This book is a triumph."--Molly Antopol, author of the National Book Award longlisted The UnAmericans

"These marvelous, deeply engaging stories are fierce and yearning, glowing with Stephanie Soileau's compassion and wit and intelligence. Her characters are unforgettable, and their ambitions and passions and hurts crackle beneath the blazing lights of the Louisiana oilfields. This collection is an astonishing achievement. I will read every word this writer writes."--Kirstin Valdez Quade, National Book Award 5 Under 35 winner and author of Night at the Fiestas
"The stories in Last One Out Shut Off the Lights are stark and unflinching, though there is warmth and humor, too. The way bayous flow in both directions, these stories move from darkness to deep feeling and back again. There are also deeply sympathetic portraits of women who get left behind, hardscrabble ones and ones who were never allowed to believe so never really tried. Like a lovechild of Lucia Berlin and Walker Percy, this book is a lightning bolt of a literary debut, one that lights the sky, ignites fires, and changes all who behold it."--Adam Johnson, Pulitzer Prize winner for The Orphan Master's Son and National Book Award winner for Fortune Smiles
"These warm-blooded, deep-feeling stories astound with their empathy, fervor, and unstoppable power. The characters here are shaped by their conflicting selves as much as by the terra firma of Louisiana, which comes across like no other place. This book resounds long after reading."--Ling Ma, PEN/Hemingway Award finalist for Severance
"Enchanting... These quietly moving stories are... so neatly planed they feel made by time, this book marks the debut of a writer to watch."--John Freeman, Lit Hub, Most Anticipated Books of 2020