Kiss Me, Stranger: An Illustrated Novel

Overview

Set in an unnamed country sometime in the past, present, or future, Kiss Me, Stranger is the story of one woman's attempts to keep her family together while a civil war rages around her.

Penelope, her husband and her fourteen children live in a small war-torn country built atop a landfill. After her husband and eldest son are drafted by opposing factions in the war, Penelope and her remaining children, desolate and nearly starving, are forced to scavenge for scrap--comprised of ...

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Kiss Me, Stranger: An Illustrated Novel

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Overview

Set in an unnamed country sometime in the past, present, or future, Kiss Me, Stranger is the story of one woman's attempts to keep her family together while a civil war rages around her.

Penelope, her husband and her fourteen children live in a small war-torn country built atop a landfill. After her husband and eldest son are drafted by opposing factions in the war, Penelope and her remaining children, desolate and nearly starving, are forced to scavenge for scrap--comprised of discarded consumer goods such as computers, televisions and automobiles--in the bombed-out city. When the government scrap collector makes an unreasonable demand in already unreasonable circumstances, Penelope slaps him across the face, leading to her arrest. Her subsequent escape sends her family on a journey literally into the heart of the landfill, where they come face to face with the stupidity, destruction and at times, dark humor, of war and modern consumer society.

Featuring over fifty illustrations by the author, Kiss Me, Stranger is a comical and tragic commentary on war, violence, and consumerism.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Tanner's scrappy debut plunges readers into a hyperactive, nonsensical alternate universe in which afamily's life is made hell by a government gone nuts. Heroine Penelope has 14 children, and her husband and oldest son are away serving in the military, leaving her to contend with regular visits from a grumpy government scrap metal collector. After Penelope slaps the Metal Man for trying to take her oven racks to melt down into munitions, the family goes on the run, seeking refuge in alandfill, surviving as scavengers, and dodgingcannibals. Penelope dreams of her husband andeldest son's adventures, and with revolution in the air, the questions become, will life get better under a new regime and will she see her loved ones again? Atits best, the novel reads like a send up of The Road by a young KurtVonnegut, but these moments are few, with Tanner decreasingly interested in imparting significance to the frantic comic absurdities that pile up with alarming speed. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935439172
  • Publisher: Ig Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 4.88 (w) x 7.44 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author


Ron Tanner’s awards for fiction include a Faulkner Society gold medal, a Pushcart Prize, a New Letters Award first prize, a Best of the Web Award, and many others. He has won fellowships from the Copernicus Society, Sewanee Writers Conference, and the National Park Service, to name a few, and his stories have appeared in dozens of literary magazines, including The Iowa Review, West Branch, and the Quarterly. His collection of stories, A Bed of Nails, won both the G.S. Sharat Chandra award and the Towson Prize for Literature and is now in its second printing. He teaches writing at Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland.
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