Black Light
“The stories in Black Light are grimy and weird, surprising, utterly lush. . . . I loved every moment of this book.” —Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other PartiesWith raw, poetic ferocity, Kimberly King Parsons exposes desire’s darkest hollows—those hidden places where most of us are afraid to look. In this debut collection of enormously perceptive and brutally unsentimental short stories, Parsons illuminates the ache of first love, the banality of self-loathing, the scourge of addiction, the myth of marriage, and the magic and inevitable disillusionment of childhood.Taking us from hot Texas highways to cold family kitchens, from the freedom of pay-by-the-hour motels to the claustrophobia of private school dorms, these stories erupt off the page with a primal howl—sharp-voiced, bitter, and wise. Black Light contains the type of storytelling that resonates somewhere deep, in the well of memory that repudiates nostalgia.“There is a reckless kind of heat to the tender, broken characters in these stories. . . . Parsons is both unflinching and eloquent in her portrayals of people as they burn and rage.”—Lauren Kane, The Paris Review“Parsons’s debut crackles with the frenetic energy of the women who stalk its pages. . . . Parsons’s characters are sharp and uncannily observed, bound up in elastic and electrifying prose. This is a first-rate debut.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)"Black Light is an unshakable debut, a collection of stories that will grip you under its spell until its closing notes. Compulsively readable, this book is as much a love letter to language as it is to the natural world, the darkened corners of desire, and the absurdities of girlhood. Gutsy, loud, and so very Texas, this one moved me in a tectonic way. You’ll underline every sentence."—T Kira Madden, Bustle“In lithe, lyrical prose à la Amy Hempel and Noy Holland, Parsons's short fiction parses the addictions and desires of Texan girls and women, and will break your heart even as it makes you laugh.” —O, The Oprah Magazine“[An] assured debut. . . . Imbued with the expanses of their landscapes, Parson’s dozen tales portray characters navigating unavoidable shifts in the realities of their lives.”—Leah Strauss, Booklist“The bad-ass gals in these terrific stories are all attitude, and as funny and appealing in their imperfection and thwarted desire as you’ll find in any fiction out there. Parsons opens and ends stories brilliantly. I just finished this book, and I’m going to read it again right away.”—Amy Hempel, author of Sing to It“The very fact that Black Light exists in the world makes everything feel a little less bleak. These stories are funny and poignant and searching, full of taut poetry, not to mention the long pain and sharp joys of living and loving and lusting. In her debut collection, Kimberly King Parsons has put it all on the line, with a hell of a payoff.”—Sam Lipsyte, author of Hark“Kimberly King Parsons’s Black Light is savage, celestial, and gorgeous. Texas, dusty and sprawling, houses Parsons’s pining, broken, twangy, and unforgettable characters. The prose shimmers into incantation. In this collection, Parsons dissects the guts of the soul, to show us how awful we all are and how crushingly beautiful.”—Hannah Lillith Assadi, author of Sonora“Extraordinary, brutal, filled with wit and menace and charisma, Black Light stakes out a Texas by turns drably oppressive and shot through with ultra-HD colors. Contemptuous and empathetic, ill-mannered and sublime, Black Light is my favorite collection in years.”—Mark Doten, author of Trump Sky Alpha“Black Light announces a remarkable talent. Parsons sees right into the maw of the flawed humans that live in her worlds, which is to say, she spies the humanity in all of us. These stories are at turns heartbreaking and hilarious; keen and imaginative. Plus, she’s a prime prose stylist, one whose language never dips below flat-out amazing.”—Mitchell S. Jackson, author of Survival Math

Black Light Details

TitleBlack Light
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 13th, 2019
PublisherVintage
ISBN-139780525563501
Rating
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, LGBT, Contemporary

Black Light Review

  • Richard Derus
    January 1, 1970
    Don't start this read if you're not ready to go there. You know the "there" I mean, that there that Gertrude Stein railed against not being there in Oakland, California, circa 1920. Or today, for all I know or care. The there you're going with Author Parsons is the there that we try hard to deal with each in our separate ways, the there that we hate but need. You're not going alone. You might, in fact, prefer solitude on the trip, but by definition, reading is an accompanied silence. Like a play Don't start this read if you're not ready to go there. You know the "there" I mean, that there that Gertrude Stein railed against not being there in Oakland, California, circa 1920. Or today, for all I know or care. The there you're going with Author Parsons is the there that we try hard to deal with each in our separate ways, the there that we hate but need. You're not going alone. You might, in fact, prefer solitude on the trip, but by definition, reading is an accompanied silence. Like a playlist of stuff you can't remember liking when you were twenty but comes up when you enter the year you turned twenty into YouTube's maw.The whole collection's about the messiness of being alive, the passionlessness of the quotidian, purple cabbage Thai dishes that jumble against red beards, hairy armpits. And you know what, no one wins.There it is. This mess of words and ideas is what's kept Author Parsons busy the past twelve or so years. It's been a good, solid busy, as you can see if the hard stuff is where your reading needs are right now. It's actually more hard for me to imagine her finding the room inside herself to birth two kids! All this life, all these people, you end up feeling like your entire brain is swelling from their bad breath and farts.As is my wont, I used the time-honored and very efficient Bryce Method to (re)view the stories as they came over at my blog.SIDE NOTE I was uberpleased that Author Parsons liked my review! I *loved* reading your take on every story 🖤— Kimberly King Parsons (@kkingparsons) August 19, 2019
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  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
    January 1, 1970
    EXCERPT: I'm usually nervous in cars. Whether I'm driving or riding, I can't seem to forget that I'm in a little shell,hurtling along. I want a death that comes from the inside, something I won't have to watch as it's happening - a clot turned loose in my brain, a glossy organ seizing up and shuddering in secret. Car wrecks are shattered windshields and jutting bones, the listless highway patrol scooping bits of you and not-you off the asphalt, zipping the whole mess into a bag. But when Bo is d EXCERPT: I'm usually nervous in cars. Whether I'm driving or riding, I can't seem to forget that I'm in a little shell,hurtling along. I want a death that comes from the inside, something I won't have to watch as it's happening - a clot turned loose in my brain, a glossy organ seizing up and shuddering in secret. Car wrecks are shattered windshields and jutting bones, the listless highway patrol scooping bits of you and not-you off the asphalt, zipping the whole mess into a bag. But when Bo is driving - even though she's always looking at herself in the rearview or swerving around road trash in case it's a bag of kittens - my anxiety, usually a thrum as steady and constant as my heartbeat, is something I can smother, tamp down, and forget about for a while. ABOUT THIS BOOK: With raw, poetic ferocity, Kimberly King Parsons exposes desire’s darkest hollows—those hidden places where most of us are afraid to look. In this debut collection of enormously perceptive and brutally unsentimental short stories, Parsons illuminates the ache of first love, the banality of self-loathing, the scourge of addiction, the myth of marriage, and the magic and inevitable disillusionment of childhood.Taking us from hot Texas highways to cold family kitchens, from the freedom of pay-by-the-hour motels to the claustrophobia of private school dorms, these stories erupt off the page with a primal howl—sharp-voiced, bitter, and wise. Black Light contains the type of storytelling that resonates somewhere deep, in the well of memory that repudiates nostalgia.MY THOUGHTS: There are a lot of everyday materials that fluoresce or glow when placed under a black light. A black light gives off highly energetic ultraviolet light. Just as these energetic stories fluoresce and glow as they are being read. And just as a black light shows up things not normally visible to the human eye, these are the things that are focused upon in this collection of short stories. Don't expect anything cute or heartwarming. The author focuses on the seamier side of life, the bits that happen, but nobody talks about, the bits that are swept under the carpet and glossed over. It is our fears and disappointments that she focuses on, not our dreams, aspirations and achievements. Some of the stories border on the bizarre, all are slightly strange, but very, very real. This was an interesting read, one that deserves not to be hurried. These stories bear a closer inspection and I will be giving them a second read. My two favourites in this collection are Fiddlebacks, and Starlite. #BlackLight #NetGalley😉🤔😏🙄THE AUTHOR: Kimberly King Parsons is the author of the short story collection Black Light, forthcoming from Vintage August 13, 2019, and the novel The Boiling River, forthcoming from Knopf in 2020ish. Her fiction has been published or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, Best Small Fictions 2017, New South, Black Warrior Review, No Tokens, Joyland, Ninth Letter, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. Her book reviews and interviews have appeared in Bookforum, Fanzine, Time Out New York, The Millions, and elsewhere. She lives with her partner and sons in Portland, OR, where she is completing a novel about Texas, motherhood, and LSD. DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Vintage, via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Black Light by Kimberly King Parsons for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my profile page on Goodreads.com or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...
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  • Tyler Goodson
    January 1, 1970
    Is Friday Night Lights meets Ottessa Moshfegh a thing? Because this collection is kind of like that: unafraid of being dark or weird or gross, and set within the wandering, vacant emptiness of Texas, or anyplace far enough away for you to feel like there's no one else around. These are my favorite kinds of stories, with sharp, surprising sentences and characters full of wanting and loneliness, resourcefulness and humor.
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  • Paquita Maria Sanchez
    January 1, 1970
    Like if a sucker punch were a pleasant surprise somehow. "Foxes" was particularly vicious (guitar shred), but I didn't want any of these stories to end, which is quite a thing to say about a debut collection. Or any collection.
  • T Madden
    January 1, 1970
    This book is the best. A fever dream with grip. No one writes a sentence like Kimberly King Parsons.
  • Kevin
    January 1, 1970
    A debut that entertains, stuns, and dazzles at every risk-taking turn. This is short story as art and it's mind-boggling that the two best stories, Glow Hunter (a sensory trip) and Starlite (a seedy hotel masterpiece), were not published before this book's release, making your purchase of this collection mandatory. Parsons is a force and her perfect blend of humor, longing, propulsive style, and humid southern atmospherics makes Black Light one of the best books of the year. I mean, holy shit, p A debut that entertains, stuns, and dazzles at every risk-taking turn. This is short story as art and it's mind-boggling that the two best stories, Glow Hunter (a sensory trip) and Starlite (a seedy hotel masterpiece), were not published before this book's release, making your purchase of this collection mandatory. Parsons is a force and her perfect blend of humor, longing, propulsive style, and humid southern atmospherics makes Black Light one of the best books of the year. I mean, holy shit, people.
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  • Dianah
    January 1, 1970
    In Black Light, Parsons mines the dingy side of life: the messy, the worn, the dirty. These stories are populated with the poor, the addicted, the liars, the wounded, the cheaters. Parsons deftly strings together this handful of compelling stories out of that muck of darkness. I blasted through this book in an evening, mesmerized by her stark stories, her hapless characters, the muddied insight into pallid lives, the feeble hope for redemption. Through all the darkness, there is clarity here: a In Black Light, Parsons mines the dingy side of life: the messy, the worn, the dirty. These stories are populated with the poor, the addicted, the liars, the wounded, the cheaters. Parsons deftly strings together this handful of compelling stories out of that muck of darkness. I blasted through this book in an evening, mesmerized by her stark stories, her hapless characters, the muddied insight into pallid lives, the feeble hope for redemption. Through all the darkness, there is clarity here: a sharp rendering of lives lived on the edge, and the brilliant human beauty that is found there.
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  • Leah Dieterich
    January 1, 1970
    This collection doesn't shy away from the grotesque and beautiful. Parsons' characters are entirely relatable. Sad, bored, difficult, destructive, endearing and often hilarious. These stories have some of the best opening and closing sentences I've ever read (and everything in between is pretty damn good, too).
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I’ll start with the obvious: I *loved* this book. It does a service to the short story form. The characters in these stories are so weird and so full of flaws and so human; they are like thick oil paintings with too much color, saturated and alive. It’s really incredible to be able to pull this off, it’s like the trick of the short story that’s so hard to figure out, and Parsons does it beautifully. A lot of the characters and the plots are difficult, sometimes downright unlikeable, but the writ I’ll start with the obvious: I *loved* this book. It does a service to the short story form. The characters in these stories are so weird and so full of flaws and so human; they are like thick oil paintings with too much color, saturated and alive. It’s really incredible to be able to pull this off, it’s like the trick of the short story that’s so hard to figure out, and Parsons does it beautifully. A lot of the characters and the plots are difficult, sometimes downright unlikeable, but the writing sings and dances and comes right out to smack you, which is kind of the best. Also, there’s way more queer content in here than I was expecting, with at least 3 stories centering WLW. The title story is my favorite, but I love them all. CW for eating disorders, drug use, and depression in this book, just a heads up. So worth reading; I have a book hangover from this one. Highly recommend!
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  • Chad Miller
    January 1, 1970
    Don’t miss Kimberly King Parson's BLACK LIGHT out in August. Queer Texas stories. From the “gimcrack ache” of unrequited love to the glow of a second night together, Parsons transcribes what’s irreducible in all of us.
  • Cassie (book__gal)
    January 1, 1970
    One of the best short story collections I’ve ever read. I devoured the first 100 pages in one sitting, then the last 100 pages in another sitting. I couldn’t put it down either time. This is a book of stories about ordinary people - ordinary people in various states of deprivation, despondency, raw longing, chaos, love. We visit grimy motel rooms, the stuffy dorms of an all-girls school, the mushroom-laden grass off the side of a Texas highway, the stale reception area of a realtor’s office. Pl One of the best short story collections I’ve ever read. I devoured the first 100 pages in one sitting, then the last 100 pages in another sitting. I couldn’t put it down either time. This is a book of stories about ordinary people - ordinary people in various states of deprivation, despondency, raw longing, chaos, love. ⁣⁣We visit grimy motel rooms, the stuffy dorms of an all-girls school, the mushroom-laden grass off the side of a Texas highway, the stale reception area of a realtor’s office. Places that feel separate from us but also eerily familiar. Parsons’s observations about relationships, desire, female pain, coming of age, sexuality will feel so penetrating and on the nose to you. Her prose is so blisteringly honest, you’ll feel it in your veins. Black Light dissects all the darkness in an endearing way. I didn’t think it was possible for discomfort to be charming, but Parsons manages to make it so. ⁣⁣I love atmosphere in a book and Black Light is full of enveloping air. If Black Light was a scene you came across, it would be a young woman, smoking the forbidden cigarette in the gas station parking lot under a flickering streetlamp, it’s 3 am and still 85° out. I love these stories so much. A favorite of 2019. A forever re-read. Thank you Vintage for sending me a free review copy and congrats Kimberly King Parsons on such a compelling debut ⚡️
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  • Jessica T.
    January 1, 1970
    Unfortunately, no matter how much you love an author a short story collection will be uneven. As readers we all know the score. Black Light is the debut story collection by Kimberly King Parsons. When I started this collection, I was unfamiliar with the author. These stories explore the human condition in all of it’s ugliness. I would be lying if I said I loved every story but Ms Parsons voice and skill as a writer made each story a compulsive read. The soft no and we don’t come natural to it wo Unfortunately, no matter how much you love an author a short story collection will be uneven. As readers we all know the score. Black Light is the debut story collection by Kimberly King Parsons. When I started this collection, I was unfamiliar with the author. These stories explore the human condition in all of it’s ugliness. I would be lying if I said I loved every story but Ms Parsons voice and skill as a writer made each story a compulsive read. The soft no and we don’t come natural to it would definitely be my favorites. I’m thrilled to see where Kimberly Parsons fiction is heading. If you enjoy Ottessa Moshfegh definitely check this book out.
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  • Lee
    January 1, 1970
    Black light is a collection of short stories that expose the dark places within us that most people are afraid to look. It examines and highlights childhood, addiction, marriage, love, self loathing and other topics. My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for an advance copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • Susan DeFreitas
    January 1, 1970
    If you're a fan of short stories, chances are, you remember when you first read Denis Johnson's Jesus's Son. I still remember the shock this collection hit me with, circa 1995--the sense that I'd never read such absolutely top-shelf that was so transgressive. That's how I felt after reading Black Light, which begs a question: How exactly, in 2019, does this collection manage to feel transgressive? Like Johnson, Parsons writes about drugs, but her characters' drug use isn't what defines them; ins If you're a fan of short stories, chances are, you remember when you first read Denis Johnson's Jesus's Son. I still remember the shock this collection hit me with, circa 1995--the sense that I'd never read such absolutely top-shelf that was so transgressive. That's how I felt after reading Black Light, which begs a question: How exactly, in 2019, does this collection manage to feel transgressive? Like Johnson, Parsons writes about drugs, but her characters' drug use isn't what defines them; instead, which drugs they use and how they use them are part of a larger constellation of character traits. And while Jesus's Son was largely about folks at the margins, Parsons's characters are living ostensibly mainstream lives. (In one of my favorite stories, "Starlite," a woman and her supervisor at work call in sick to spend the day in a seedy motel doing speed; at the end of the day--which ranges from hilarious to absurd to surprisingly deep--she puts her work clothes back on and heads home to her hubby, with no one the wiser.) But this book is also transgressive in the way that Carmen Maria Machado's Her Body and Other Parties is transgressive, in that it centers the lives of women, and queer ones in particular. There's the adolescent girl in love with her best friend, who tried being lesbian for a while but then fell in love with Jesus; the big girl who can't believe that her medical-resident boyfriend is actually attracted to her, who obsesses about the diseases that may infect the bodies of strangers; the receptionist who's got an anorexia pact with her best friend, and is deeply jealous of the woman's husband--maybe because she's in love with that friend, or maybe because her husband seduces her into eating barbecue. All of this, and Texas too, told in a manner that should keep aspiring prose stylists feverishly penning papers for college classes for years to come. T Kira Madden calls Black Light "a work of thunderous virtuosity," and I have to agree: it just really is that good.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Every story here is on the cusp--the language, the settings, the lives of longing and daring, the awkward and raw relationships. I love the title: think about what shines under weird and dark light. Parsons explores the Texas backdrop with her foot on the gas. Great collection!
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Burned through this one. I know so many of the images will stick with me for a long time and the language was really special. I also fully loved the gay shit because THAT'S WHO I AM--but really, it was thoughtful and heartbreaking and beautiful.
  • Melissa Duclos
    January 1, 1970
    This book changed what I thought a short story collection could do with character development. King Parsons sees people and the world in a way few other writers do. She holds her deeply flawed, messy characters up to the Texas light, allowing them their full humanity. The result is a collection full of people who are sometimes awkward, maddening, or disgusting, but always beautiful. This is in no small part thanks to King Parson's deftness with language. Her sentences, like her characters, will This book changed what I thought a short story collection could do with character development. King Parsons sees people and the world in a way few other writers do. She holds her deeply flawed, messy characters up to the Texas light, allowing them their full humanity. The result is a collection full of people who are sometimes awkward, maddening, or disgusting, but always beautiful. This is in no small part thanks to King Parson's deftness with language. Her sentences, like her characters, will leave you breathless.
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  • James Beggarly
    January 1, 1970
    A very fun book of short stories that mainly focuses on women on the margins of life that have bold spirits and a strong sense of humor. It was great see the world through these eyes. Can’t wait until this author has her first novel.
  • Jason Allen
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved this book! Kimberly King parsons is a hugely talented author, and I can't wait to read what she comes up with next.
  • mads
    January 1, 1970
    this book was so gd good. ugh. will i ever get over it? there were a couple stories that didn't captivate me as hard but for the most part i loved every single one from start to finish. the way parsons describes things is incredible. the details and the dialogues are touching and real as hell and she honestly writes like exactly how i want to write but way better than i could ever write. there were a few times where i'd finish up a story and have to sit there for a solid 10-15 minutes like 'wow this book was so gd good. ugh. will i ever get over it? there were a couple stories that didn't captivate me as hard but for the most part i loved every single one from start to finish. the way parsons describes things is incredible. the details and the dialogues are touching and real as hell and she honestly writes like exactly how i want to write but way better than i could ever write. there were a few times where i'd finish up a story and have to sit there for a solid 10-15 minutes like 'wow ok' sort of just processing the sharp and sudden endings (every time without fail) that came when i still had so many questions n curiosities. oh and all the texas locations! SIGH. thanks for that.
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  • Jeannine
    January 1, 1970
    I love this collection so much it causes me pain. If you like short stories read this book and you will fall in love.
  • Jan Stinchcomb
    January 1, 1970
    There's not much more you can ask of a short story collection. You'll want to stay in this delicious, frightening world longer than you should. The descriptions of Texas, the land and the culture, are exceptional.
  • Susannah
    January 1, 1970
    Ho. ly. Shit. Denis Johnson is turning over in his grave.
  • Andrea MacPherson
    January 1, 1970
    Really, really excellent debut. I’ll be thinking about some of these stories—“Glow Hunter”, “Foxes”, “Starlite”—for a while. Hyoed for her forthcoming novel.
  • Stella
    January 1, 1970
    Kimberly King Parsons takes the ordinary and shows everything, cuts, brusies and warts. The stores in Black Light are full of relationships, love, heartbreak, pain and sexuality all under the cloud of honesty and darkness. It's uncomfortable in the way that makes you uncomfortable BECAUSE you like it. You like the glimpse into the dark, secret lives of others. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book. Kimberly King Parsons takes the ordinary and shows everything, cuts, brusies and warts. The stores in Black Light are full of relationships, love, heartbreak, pain and sexuality all under the cloud of honesty and darkness. It's uncomfortable in the way that makes you uncomfortable BECAUSE you like it. You like the glimpse into the dark, secret lives of others. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book. ⁣
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  • Amber Sherlock
    January 1, 1970
    A haunting, poetic collection reminiscent of Ottessa Moshfegh. The sharp, dark prose in these bold stories delights in it's otherworldly strangeness, skirting the fringes of society in pockets of shadow.
  • Michelle Keil
    January 1, 1970
    Kimberly King Parsons' stories are both precise and wild, combining a classic, carefully observed realism with vivid imagination and fairytale grit. Her characters grapple with the confines of embodiment, experimenting with control, excess, danger and pleasure to connect with each other and themselves. A charged debut from an author totally in command of her talents. I can't wait to read more!
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  • Aaron Mcquiston
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not always a fan of short story collections because I feel like I know what I'm getting. Some stories will be good, some stories will be bad, and I will have to grind my teeth through the ones I don't like hoping that the next will be better. By the fourth story in the debut collection by Kimberly King Parsons, I knew that this is different. This is the rare collection of short stories that are all incredible. There is no variation in quality. They are all incredible. Most of these stories a I'm not always a fan of short story collections because I feel like I know what I'm getting. Some stories will be good, some stories will be bad, and I will have to grind my teeth through the ones I don't like hoping that the next will be better. By the fourth story in the debut collection by Kimberly King Parsons, I knew that this is different. This is the rare collection of short stories that are all incredible. There is no variation in quality. They are all incredible. Most of these stories are about people who are flawed in ways that are not always seen by the naked eye. Even though the collection is titled after one of the stories, "Black Light" is a perfect metaphor for the way Kimberly King Parsons writes all of these characters. A black light brings out the glaring flaws, the dirt and stains that are under the surface and not always visible with the naked eye. The way that King Parsons writes these stories, as if she is not a writer but a spirit, a haunt that has possessed these characters long enough to A) know all of their secrets, insecurities, and motivations and B) make them do her bidding, really draws the reader into these lives, and quite honestly create worlds that are so detailed in such a short space that anyone trying to write great stories and novels should try to dissect these stories to figure out how it is done. All of these stories are sad, sometimes tragic, sometimes upsetting, but there is not a single time when I did not feel a connection to what was happening and the outcome. I loved so many of the sentences, so many of the scenes, so many of the bad decisions and tension, and I honestly will be looking forward to reading all of Kimberly King Parson's works in the future. I received this as an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    January 1, 1970
    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'I’ve almost had no loss in my life, but I still believe we’re always in between tragedies, that anything good is a lull before the next devastation.'The stories in this collection are wickedly rich. In Foxes, a little girl’s plot-lines revolve around what’s deep in the woods. But the mother already knows what horror can live outside of fairy-tales, the tragedy of confusing a fool for a knight! She dearly hopes her daughter escaped her inheritan via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'I’ve almost had no loss in my life, but I still believe we’re always in between tragedies, that anything good is a lull before the next devastation.'The stories in this collection are wickedly rich. In Foxes, a little girl’s plot-lines revolve around what’s deep in the woods. But the mother already knows what horror can live outside of fairy-tales, the tragedy of confusing a fool for a knight! She dearly hopes her daughter escaped her inheritance of bad choices, and if pretty isn’t enough than thank god for her brains! People living nowhere or searching for somewhere, even when they are living on fumes, pockets full of nothing! When you’re hungry, when your broke love is a war zone, but when will The Light Pour In? If love were a scale, what does age difference weigh? These aren’t your beautiful, blessed folks, no no no… these are ruined people.In Fiddlebacks, children chase creepy crawlies while their mother finds comfort in the back of a car with a man whose face is ravaged. Drugs, cheating for the illicit pleasure, a charismatic friend who fires the blood of first love, snarled minds that art therapy attempts to mend, and a medical student that charts his beloveds insides, grounding her. The writing is sometimes like sand in my eyes, it’s raw. The characters don’t stand sure and tall, they ‘cant’ help but see a thing through its disappointing end’, and are nothing like wise, unbelievable sketches of people in other novels who know how to navigate their perfect, clean little lives. Somehow, this is far easier to relate to! This is a curious collection and I can’t wait to read a full novel by Parsons! Feast yours eyes on that cover people, that is a hell of a book cover!!!Publication Date: August 13, 2019Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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  • Elizabeth Moore
    January 1, 1970
    I love short story collections like this: weird and off-beat but beautifully and painfully written. The characters are, for the most part, unlikable, but I think that's the point. After all, we are all unlikable to some extent.These are stories of mothers and daughters, childhood friendships, teenage relationships, and the intoxicating hope and disappointment embedded in each one. Everyone is trying their best and giving up at the same time; living and dying, rebelling and awakening. Each story I love short story collections like this: weird and off-beat but beautifully and painfully written. The characters are, for the most part, unlikable, but I think that's the point. After all, we are all unlikable to some extent.These are stories of mothers and daughters, childhood friendships, teenage relationships, and the intoxicating hope and disappointment embedded in each one. Everyone is trying their best and giving up at the same time; living and dying, rebelling and awakening. Each story illuminates the dark side of humanity, but in a way that elicits compassion -- as if these sorry children, teenagers, and parents can't help it. A mashup of grief and celebration and inescapable discomfort, this collection tells the story of what it means to be human. It's the cry for help that we all need, to escape what traps us. What a terrific, real picture of humanness.
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