Synopses & Reviews
"This book is as fresh and astringent as a raw secret whispered just before church."--Ron Carlson, author of A Kind of Flying
Tonsillectomies should not be attempted at home, cucumbers make lousy stand-ins, and golf clubs can be hazardous to a mother's health. Love and faith are treacherous negotiations. Mercy and malice go hand in hand. In Home Remedies Angela Pneuman renders these unsettling truths, small and large, with blazing insight and dark humor. A deeply affecting debut, the stories in this collection follow a compelling cast of characters, all of whom hail from Kentucky. A compassionate and clear-eyed look at religious faith and family ties,Home Remedies marks the beginning of a distinguished literary career.
"I love the way Angela Pneuman's characters soldier on in their curious, comic, questioning lives. I believe in them, which is to say that their troubles seem real, and, like long-time friends, their foibles amuse and alarm me." --Antonya Nelson, author of Living to Tell
"Smart, brave and unflinchingly honest, Angela Pneuman is a writer of such flinty brilliance and such dead-on, dead-pan humor it's often hard to believe you've arrived at the end of a story until stunned by the last gesture or word."--ZZ Packer, author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
"Without a doubt, Angela Pneuman is one of the most astonishingly talented young writers working today."--Julie Orringer, author of How to Breathe Underwater
ANGELA PNEUMAN is a recent Stegner Fellow in fiction at Stanford University. Stories from Home Remedies have appeared in The Best American Short Stories , Ploughshares , the Iowa Review , the Virginia Quarterly Review , Glimmer Train , and elsewhere. She lives in Albany, New York.
"In this dark debut, Pneuman weaves together a collection of short stand-alone fictional stories that share a roughly similar thread of conservative Christian faith in the background. A 24-year-old woman is paid to collect money for charity outside department stores while sharing a twin bed and her neuroses with her young niece in 'The Bell Ringer'; 'Borderland' portrays a young girl dealing with the ways people hurt each other. In 'The Beachcomber,' two overweight girls long for attractiveness and male attention, but self-destructive behavior (and a rather gruesome sexual initiation) is a grim foreshadowing. 'Invitation,' one of the best pieces, explores the obsessive fear of a young Christian teen about premarital sex and how that fear plays out in a camp meeting where her father is the evangelist. The themes are often gritty: mental illness, cruelty, divorce, sexual exploration and coping with death. Pneuman's fine literary writing is excellent enough to land several of these pieces in publications such as The Best American Short Stories ('All Saints Day') and Ploughshares ('The Long Game'). Although readers may sometimes feel a cold disconnect with her characters, Pneuman's knowledge of the lingo of conservative Christianity lends authenticity to her narratives, and in several, she intimately portrays the interior lives and concerns of young girls." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR HOME REMEDIES
"Smart, brave and unflinchingly honest, Angela Pneuman is a writer of such flinty brilliance and such dead-on, dead-pan humor its often hard to believe youve arrived at the end of a story until stunned by the last gesture or word." ZZ Packer
"Without a doubt, Angela Pneuman is one of the most astonishingly talented young writers working today. Her dark humor evokes Lorrie Moore, the richness and depth of her narratives call to mind Alice Munro, but these stories are all her own."Julie Orringer
Tonsillectomies should not be performed at home, cucumbers do not make good stand-ins, and golf clubs are not for hitting your mother.
Angela Pneuman renders these unsettling truths, small and large, with blazing insight in Home Remedies. It is a startling debut collection of stories peopled by Christian fundamentalists traversing various stages and crises of belief, grappling with intimacies that feel like an anxious mix of longing and repulsion, relating to one another in an uneasy balance of eagerness and wariness.
A compassionate and clear-eyed look at religious faith and family ties, Home Remedies marks the beginning of a distinguished literary career.
A volume of short works features Christian fundamentalist protagonists traversing various stages and crises of belief, grappling with mixed emotions, and relating to one another in an uneasy balance of eagerness and wariness. A first collection. Original.
About the Author
Angela Pneuman teaches fiction writing at Stanford University and works as a copywriter in the California wine industry. Her fiction takes a hard look at characters whose lives unfold and sometimes unravel in the towns and outlying rural areas of central Kentucky, where she was raised. Stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories (2004 & 2012), Ploughshares, Los Angeles Review, Iowa Review, Glimmer Train and many other literary magazines—and were collected in her first book, Home Remedies (Harcourt, 2007). Angela was a Stegner Fellow in fiction at Stanford, a Presidential Fellow in the PhD program at SUNY Albany, and the recipient of the first inaugural Alice Hoffman Prize for short fiction from Ploughshares.
Table of Contents
All Saints Day
The Bell Ringer
The Long Game