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KIMBERLY KING PARSONS reads from her debut short story collection BLACK LIGHT with LEAH DIETERICH

Black Light: Stories (Vintage)

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.

Praise for Black Light

“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

“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

“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

Black Light is a work of thunderous virtuosity. Kimberly King Parsons’s debut captures a kind of truth that could pass for memory if it weren’t so steeped in Parsons’s voice and whirring imagination, piercing and singular. A luminous fever dream and a modern day classic.” —T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

“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 

Born in Lubbock, Texas, Kimberly King Parsons received her MFA from Columbia University. Her fiction has been published in Best Small Fictions 2017, New South, Black Warrior Review, No Tokens, Joyland, Ninth Letter, and The Kenyon Review, among others.

Leah Dieterich’s essays and short fiction have been published by Lenny Letter, Buzzfeed, LitHub, and Bomb Magazine among others. She is the author of Vanishing Twins: A Marriage (Soft Skull, 2018) as well as a book of thank-you notes, entitled thxthxthx: thank goodness for everything (Andrews McMeel, 2011). She lives in Portland, Oregon and Los Angeles, California.

Event date: 
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Black Light: Stories Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780525563501
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - August 13th, 2019

Vanishing Twins: A Marriage Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781593762919
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soft Skull Press - September 4th, 2018