Bummer: And Other Stories

Bummer: And Other Stories

by Janice Shapiro


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Bummer: And Other Stories by Janice Shapiro

The women featured in these stories have one thing in common: They’re having a terrible day.

There’s the housewife so entranced by the pristine order of her neighbors’ 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 vulnerable 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 fiancé—from a moving car—and moves angrily through Vegas, hitting the bars and casinos before engaging in an ill-advised fling with a sleazy player named Ramon.

Janice Shapiro has created a cast of utterly distinct outsiders, yet her earthy warmth and asymmetrical humor so suffuse the stories that they surge with a collective voice, and the reader’s experience is that of getting to know a group of close-knit but independent friends. Shapiro’s 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593762964
Publisher: Soft Skull Press, Inc.
Publication date: 11/01/2010
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are Saying About This

Charles Baxter

"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)

Victoria Patterson

"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)

Tom Perrota

"Darkly funny, sexy, and very smart." --(Tom Perrota)

David Shields

"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)

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