Last One Out Shut Off the Lights

Last One Out Shut Off the Lights

by Stephanie Soileau

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Overview

"A lightning bolt of a literary debut." —Adam Johnson, Pulitzer Prize winner


"Enchanting and so neatly planed they feel made by time, these stories mark the debut of a writer to watch." —John Freeman, Literary Hub



Last One Out Shut Off the Lights is an evocative portrait of the last-chance towns of southwest Louisiana, where oil development, industrial pollution, dying wetlands, and the ever-present threat of devastating hurricanes have eroded their inhabitants' sense of home. These eleven piercing stories feature indelible characters struggling to find a foothold in a world that is forever washing out from under them, people who must reckon with their ambivalence about belonging to a place so continually in flux.


In a collection whose resonant echoes abound, we meet a reluctant teenage mother who stows her baby in a closet to steal a night out; a spiteful retiree who sabotages his neighbor in the wake of a hurricane; a Pentecostal singer in a children's theater company who confronts the cultish leader of her troupe; a community of elderly Cajuns who conspire with a family of Sudanese immigrants to hide an escaped cow from the authorities; and a desperate young woman who tries to drag her brother to Mexico for surgery, determined to save his life and her own.


As Lauren Groff did for the state of Florida in her recent collection Florida, Stephanie Soileau demonstrates that Louisiana is as much a state of mind as it is a place on the map. A love letter to the Cajun language, life rhythms, and customs that still make the region unique, Last One Out Shut Off the Lights is also a powerful reminder of the treacherous escape routes that bedevil anyone longing to leave home, and the traps that remain for those who desire to return.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316423403
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 07/07/2020
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 205,721
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

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.

Table of Contents

So This Is Permanence 3

An Attachment Theory 29

The Ranger Queen of Sulphur 55

Poke Salad 83

The Whiskey Business 87

When Pluto Lost His Planetary Status 119

Mr. A 129

Cut Off, Louisiana: A Ghost Story 159

Haguillory 173

Camera Obscura 191

The Boucherie 209

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