MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Excerpt from The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Parking Lot Attendant

A Novel

by Nafkote Tamirat

The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat X
The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2018, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2019, 240 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lisa Butts
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About this Book

Print Excerpt


Five strokes later, he was done. He told me to pull up my jeans and go to the bathroom, where I discovered that I had wet myself. I threw my clothing on the floor and then took a long bath, the kind I used to take when I lived with my mother. Unlike my father, she didn't care or perhaps didn't understand the concepts of heating bills and water conservation. He didn't knock on the door or shout from the kitchen to get out before I melted all my skin off, like he usually did. I heard nothing when I finally slunk into my room to put on my pajamas.

When I came back out, he was watching television. Without turning, he said that my portion of macaroni and cheese was still hot if I wanted it, and I realized that I was ravenous. He reached out for his interminable tea, and I saw that he was having trouble grasping the handle, his hands shaking. I passed the mug to him. He took it, still not turning, and I helped myself. This was before restaurants saw macaroni and cheese as something to specialize in, charging ridiculous prices because it was covered with bread crumbs, bacon, gorgonzola-wrapped apple slices, diamond flecks, mother-of-pearl crustaceans. Real macaroni and cheese will always come from a blue-and-yellow box, with a separate packet of bright orange to be squeezed onto the tubes of pasta, a fluorescent mayonnaise. When I had finished, he stopped me before I went to my room.

"Don't ever make me do that again."

I nodded.

Excerpted from The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat. Copyright © 2018 by Nafkote Tamirat. Excerpted by permission of Henry Holt and Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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