Potently witty, neurotic and nervy, Come Up and See Me Sometime marks the arrival of an irresistible new voice in fiction. Erika Krouse's debut story collection about sex and the single girl is smart, sharp-tongued and delightfully addictive.
The thirteen stories in this collection are linked by a common theme: the main characters are all young, childless, geographically and emotionally nomadic women who are searching for self-knowledge and satisfaction in the face of the vicissitudes of single life.
In Krouse's able hands, each of these agile stories manages to cull universal truth from idiosyncratic experience and delirious humor out of deepest pathos. "The Fast" is about a woman who seeks power, independence and immunity from heartbreak through a brief flirtation with a latte diet. "Drugs and You" is the story of an innocent woman who hits a heroin addict with her car and falls blindly in love. In "My Weddings," a woman nearing thirty relates a lifetime of attending nuptials, none of them her own.
Mae West, pop culture's original Liberated Woman, is the ingenious guiding spirit of the collection. Her famous quips -- "Peel me a grape," "Come up and see me sometime," "I used to be Snow White but I drifted" -- stand as both complement and telling counterpoint to the lives of Krouse's diverse characters. These are smart, searching, quick-witted women who may strive for the unflappable sass and self-sufficiency of a Mae West, but more often fall prey to their own anxieties.
Erika Krouse's perfect comic timing and dead-on one-liners lend levity to each story, and ultimately these seemingly everyday experiences become sly riffs on common fears of loneliness and isolation. Come Up and See Me Sometime is a delightful, thought-provoking and consistently surprising read.
There was a time I didn't know where my next husband was coming from.
- Mae West
I like to sleep with other women's husbands. I try not to like this. It's not the healthy thing to do, either mentally or hygienically. I see a shrink. I see a gynecologist. But then I sleep with the husbands anyway.
I started big, with my own sister's husband, Patrick. Sarah had always been the stupider one, the uglier one, and the one who lost her virginity first. It's like I couldn't let her get away with that one. The first time I slept with Patrick, I seduced him in a bathroom at a party. I walked in while he was standing at the toilet.
I slept with my best friend's husband. Norton. This did not make me feel like a woman. I slept with...
If you liked Come Up and See Me Sometime, try these:
This laugh-out-loud chronicle charts a year in the life of Bridget Jones, a single girl on a permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement.
Follows three expertly realized and finely nuanced characters on an alternately hilarious and heartrending journey in search of contentment, connection--and each other.
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