ABOUT THE BOOK
With JERKS, Sara Lippmann rides the proverbial clutch between wanting and having. Ambivalent mothers, aging suburbanites, restless teens, survivalist parents, and disaffected wives—desire is a live wire, however frayed, a reminder that life, for all its sputtering stall outs, is still worth living. The messy characters in these eighteen stories may hack up their bed sheets with group sex, anonymous sex, sexual history, infidelity, and a literal handsaw, but there’s tenderness, too, among the lust and rage. Even when fantasy offers a shortcut to oneself, without connection, it’s a lonely escape. With crisp precision, ample honesty and desperate humor, Lippmann delivers an irresistibly fraught cast of characters at various stages of undress.
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PRAISE FOR JERKS
"I loved it. Efficient, daring and fearless. Sara Lippmann aims right for the heart of our confused desire. She gets us inside the female experience, not just of lust but of the tedium and resentment, the long grind that lurks beneath the slow burn."
— Steve Almond, author of All the Secrets of the World
"Sara Lippmann is the shit. JERKS is all killer, no filler. Vividly funny, full of heart, devastating. They should carve this book onto the side of a mountain." — Bud Smith, author of Teenager
"Reading JERKS is as satisfying as misbehaving yourself. Lippmann's collection is a fearless study of our most carnal desires. Taut and expansive, funny and merciless, this is an electric collection you won't soon forget." — Danielle Lazarin, author of Back Talk: Stories
"Sara Lippmann is a master of the absurd realities that comprise our American domestic lives. The stories in JERKS crackle with urgent, electric prose that sets fire to every sentence on every page. Funny, daring, brutal, honest, brilliant. Lippmann is dazzling."
— Robert Lopez, author of A Better Class of People
"With her effortless dry humor and swift prose, Lippmann leads us to the field where our desires rage like wildfire, and keeps us there long enough to witness small kindling of hope in the fire's aftermath."
— Taylor Byas, author of Bloodwarm
"With lyricism and stinging humor, Lippmann brings us characters who are utterly lost and yet somehow hopeful, both compassionate and deeply cruel, and above all, painfully real."
— Karen Pittelman, poet/singer/songwriter of Karen & The Sorrows
"Visceral and rich with sensory detail, the stories swerve from humorous to cutting to irreverent."
"The surprise of a Lippmann story—be it within the line, in a character's interiority, or in the story as a whole—means that every story feels as though it is thrumming with life. There is a lovely tension that is created between the vibrancy of the stories and the lives of the characters within the stories. Even though the characters in JERKS are often stuck in their lives, that sense of life, of possibility, of creation, runs throughout the collection, uniting the stories as one."
— Laura Spence-Ash, Ploughshares
"I favor stories that speak to how we fall short of what we want, that we get in our own way in achieving whatever might be, or have been possible, but that at times, much of the time, we also don't clearly see the limits that have been placed in front of us."
— Ben Tanzer, The Lit Reactor
"Sara Lippmann’s prose is impossible to mistake for that of any other writer. Her prose is like a pair of broken-in, well-loved leather boots—they take on the shape of the wearer’s feet, the shape of the miles they’ve traveled. The effect: I will follow wherever she leads me."
— Michelle Ross, Craft Literary
"You probably won’t love these characters, but you will see yourself in them."
— Ian MacAllen, Chicago Review of Books
"There’s much to admire in these eighteen stories: the electric witty prose, the character depth achieved in mere pages, the way Lippmann tells expansive stories in such condensed form. In the heart and relatability of each story, we recognize our own fumbling desperations."
— Rachel León, Necessary Fiction
"The collection is a chorus of isolated but connected voices crying out for a way to be seen, to be recognized, to be desired." — Gage Saylor, Gasher
"Misanthropic realism at its finest." — Patricia Dawn Robertson of the Winnipeg Free Press
"JERKS is quick, smooth, and easy reading that’ll leave you thinking about it long after you’ve finished." — Lindsay Crandall, Independent Book Review
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In a *starred review from Publishers Weekly:
"Lippmann packs a great deal into a single turn of phrase, balancing vulnerability and humor with luminescent prose. The compression and bursts of poignancy will remind readers of Kathy Fish and Amy Hempel."
"Lippmann tells expansive stories in such condensed form. In the heart and relatability of each story, we recognize our own fumbling desperations."
—Chicago Review of Books
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