ABOUT THIS BOOK
The characters who populate Jenn Scott’s debut collection are both trapped and adrift. Stuck in dead-end jobs or stagnant relationships or simply caught in the grip of their own inertia, they opt out, act out, and strike out, searching for emotional sustenance in a landscape of pointless patterns and dwindling hopes. Cuttingly clever remarks and excoriating observations act as shields—thrown up to protect an aching vulnerability, a bewildering sense of loss . . . of being lost in a world rife with expectations, where responsibility is ritualistic and meaning elusive.
“The beauty of being young was, in fact, the ability to project all that might happen. She recognizes, suddenly, how less grandiose the projection of her plans has become. It’s like she was once standing looking an expanse of field, but now she’s trapped in a hallway hung with too many pastel prints of landscapes that refuse to interest her. It’s as if she’s moved her entire life inside a dental office, minus the gas that sings a person to sleep while their cavities are filled, their roots fixed.”
Assumed identities, Russian mail-order brides, pie theft, lost (and found) cleavers, coworkers who commit murder, the sudden ballooning of breasts, conversations with the (surprisingly opinionated) vegetables in a restaurant’s walk-in cooler: in stories sharply funny and deeply poignant, situations that delight and discomfit, Scott explores “the complicated, or simple, ways in which we settle.”