Ex-Boyfriend On Aisle 6

2012 |

“Susan Jackson Rodgers is a wonderful, sure-footed writer who writes beautifully about women in the full, confusing bloom of adulthood.  Here she serves up twenty-two alternating bursts of humor and longing—these stories are domestic in the most meaningful sense of the word:  about parents and lovers, about homes, and the desperate, vivid, sexy, pragmatic, haunted, and harried lives that go on inside them.”                    —Anthony Doerr, author of Memory Wall and About Grace


“With uncanny precision, Susan Jackson Rodgers conjures the jittery core of daily experience where every thought and gesture is saturated with our deepest fears and most harrowing memories.  We’ve lost everything: a brother has died; a husband has left us; we can’t remember the words of a song, but its rhythms pulse through our bones and its melody haunts us.  In this world of quiet grief and fractured perception, we become the improbable link, an electrical charge that ignites a dangerous chain of accidents borne by a surge of desire.  The rupture of shared sorrow, the mercy of compassion, brings us to our knees in wonder.  A voice from within and without offers the only comfort it can:  ‘Help is on the way.’  Yes, hold on, these strange, lovely, elegantly spare, gorgeously unpredictable stories will delight and save you.”     —Melanie Rae Thon, author of Voice of the River and In This Light

“Susan Jackson Rodgers is always right about how life feels. One after another of her extremely different characters—some familiar, some hilariously strange—seems to have been written from within . . .  I couldn’t stop reading these stories.”     —Alice Mattison, author of When We Argued All Night

“Don’t be fooled by the lovely, lady-like voices that lure you into the short stories in Susan Jackson Rodgers’ Ex-Boyfriend on Aisle 6.  It’s hard not to be pulled into the deceptively charming female heads and start laughing along, relating to the frazzled divorced woman unhappy to bump into her ex-boyfriend, or the little girl innocently feeding birds outside, by the pool.  Then a devastating twist towards the end lurches your heart out and shocks you so much you have to go back to reread the beginning to see what the author had slyly slipped passed that you’d barely noticed.  Think:  Flannery O’Connor meets Desperate Housewives.  A poetic, hilarious and haunting collection.”    —Susan Shapiro, author of Overexposed and Five Men Who Broke My Heart