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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Taste of Penny, by Jeff Parker

Dzanc Ebooks

Taste of Penny, by Jeff Parker

9780982520444 Taste of Penny Cover.jpg
9780982520444 Taste of Penny Cover.jpg

Taste of Penny, by Jeff Parker

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Tight, wry, dark, and deeply funny, The Taste of Penny agitates the senses in stories modern and mischievous. This collection captures love, relationships, and finding one’s way in the twenty-first century.


“The thirteen stories comprising Jeff Parker’s The Taste of Penny manage to straddle the gulf between outlandishness and poignancy.”—Mid-American Review

The Taste of Penny succeeds brilliantly . . . exposing personal and political absurdities with a supple, serio-comic tone and wire taut dialogue.” —Rain Taxi

“. . . Parker mines that thin vein of heartbreak that only exists in the absurdly comic. His gift is in combining and distilling these influences so that the collection feels like a trip through a traveling carnival, each story a ride whose flashing lights distract hypnotically from the danger and speed. The best stories in this collection work because of Parker’s humor and because he creates landscapes that function by their own laws of physics. . . . The world may indeed be cruel and incomprehensible, and Parker knows our best hope is in laughing at it.” —American Book Review

“. . . not to be missed.” —Black Book (Top 10 Books of 2010)

“The errant liftgates and related stories make us all realize there are bigger mishaps and idiots out there beyond ourselves. Also make us realize that Jeff Parker is no idiot.” —Impose Magazine (Favorite Books of 2010)

“This collection is the perfect way to escape and live a life (or lives) a little more dangerous and adventurous for awhile.” —What to Wear During an Orange Alert?

“Parker’s sense of humor shines through in these stories, thanks in large part to an idiosyncratic take on language, mixing colloquialism with precision.” —Time Out Chicago

“Pathetic, perhaps, but the characters in Jeff Parker’s riotous collection of short stories are always welcome to come to life in our book.” —Time Out New York

“Ten dark, suspenseful, and tightly wound stories teeter on the edge of catastrophe and the surreal piecing-back-together of life afterwards. . . . Parker’s prose is concise and quirky, packed with unexpected turns . . . these stories are haunting and constantly surprising.” —Publishers Weekly


Jeff Parker is the author of the novel Ovenman and the story collection The Taste of Penny. He is also the director of the Disquiet International Literary Seminar.