Come Up and See Me Sometime by Erika Krouse

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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 andisolation. "Come Up and See Me Sometime" is a delightful, thought-provoking and consistently surprising read.

About Erika Krouse

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Erika Krouse's stories have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, Story, Ploughshares and Shenandoah. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Published July 3, 2001 by Scribner. 208 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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In the deliciously catty "Other People's Mothers," the narrator recounts her relationships with her friends' and boyfriends' mothers, finally explaining—with no unnecessary drama—her repulsion from her own mother, a nasty specimen who torments the narrator's blind, senile grandmother.

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West's irreverent, sassy, strong and entertaining character is the "second story" --- the reminder that every woman is a good story unto herself.

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