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For Sale by Owner: Stories
Bound to the bustling "big houses" of contemporary suburbia, the women in Kelcey Parker’s tales of twisted domesticity weave secrets, soccer balls, kisses, and dreams into the fabric of an evolving American subculture. Suburban sprawl transcends geography as children, husbands, and all things domestic overpopulate the interior landscapes of young divorcees, best-friends-fo...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Kore Press
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While Parker's collection consists almost entirely of tales of domesticity, the reader is never bored or lulled by anything resembling the ordinary. In fact, the stories are utterly distinct, each distinguished from the others not just by specific characters and details, but through the voice, form, and style. The story "Possession" for example, is divided into segments bearing titles like "Laundry," "Holiday," and "Toothbrush," which reflect different aspects of daily life.
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Kelcey Parker’s debut collection of stories will leave you feeling, among other things, very surprised. The surprise at work is not because of the material she works with—the seemingly quotidian bricks of the domestic Midwestern suburbs—but in the way she infuses those materials with a truly unique velocity and darkly playful touch. The suburbs and soccer moms and unfaithful husbands aren’t the ones you read about in books or watch on sitcoms, but the ones you yourself drive past every day and s ...more
I must admit that I'm not typically a fan of the short story form. I much prefer fiction in its long form (which, by the way, is why I'm excited for Parker's soon-to-be-released novel from Rose Metal Press entitled *Liliane's Balcony*). What I often find lacking in short-form fiction is the kind of engagement with character and theme that leaves a lasting impression after I've put the book down. I often find that short stories disappear from my memory as soon as I've finished them. There are cer ...more
These are odd stories in the vein of Kelly Link or Kevin Wilson-- not quite magical realism, but definitely weird. "Quirky" is a word that Parker probably hears a lot. But they're also grounded in the domestic--almost all of the protagonists are young wives and mothers, struggling to be happy in the lives they've created.
When Hello Kitty-devoted, dark-humored girls grow up and raise families, they become the heroines of Kelcey Parker's grim and satisfying stories. While I read this collection, I wept tears of joy over each obsessive scrapbooking, wedding vow bungling, baby shower ruining scene because it offered me permission to write down my own ugliest triumphs and my most evil dreams.
For Sale By Owner lets us see--often hilariously--the doubts and mishaps that swirl around the isolated modern family. I enjoyed this book thoroughly. I laughed aloud many times but these stories also made me think hard about what we expect from families,and how often our expectations fall short.
Kelcey Parker Ervick is the author of The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová, a hybrid work of biography, memoir, and art. She is the author of two award-winning works of fiction: For Sale By Owner (Kore Press) and Liliane’s Balcony (Rose Metal Press), a novella set at Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater. A recipient of grants from the Indiana Arts Commission and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, she teac ...more
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Author and illustrator Alice Oseman is known to her long-time fans for her young adult novels about—as she calls them—"teenage disasters," start...
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