Black Lawrence Press

Pictures of Houses with Water Damage

Pictures of Houses with Water Damage by Michael Hemmingson

Pictures of Houses with Water Damage is a collection of stories about disillusioned people making sense of their lives: when patriotism to fight in Iraq turns to the betrayal of love; when a desert trip to rekindle love turns into the betrayal of home; when the safety of home becomes a betrayal of the heart. Telephones ring and no one is on the other line and people mindlessly watch Star Trek reruns on TV because that reality makes more sense in their worlds. Gun shots go off in the homes of neighbors—is it real, on the TV, did someone get killed or hurt? What sort of violence is capable within the random people we meet or the folks who live beyond the thin walls of home? These stories explore the meaning of the little things in every day lives, reaching for the greater end game of love, loyalty, and compassion.

Praise

  • "Pictures of Houses with Water Damage gives me confidence that the American short story, as an art form, is hardly dead—indeed, Hemmingson shows us that it's vibrantly alive and kicking smug booty!"
    —Valerie Grey

    "Hemmingson's deft use of language is so streamlined and precise, the resulting impact is often not easy to take. There is no buffer between you, the reader, and the story being told. Hemmingson creates characters that we want to see rewarded with some sort of peace. And
    when the peace is at last bestowed upon them, we experience that peculiar chill shooting straight down our spines; that tiny shout of rejoicing."
    —Marilyn Jaye-Lewis

    "Hemmingson's new collection calls humanity on the carpet."
    —Ronald Malfi

Michael Hemmingson

MICHAEL HEMMINGSON lives in southern California. Some of his previous books include the novels Wild Turkey, Melody, and The Naughty Yard, and the story collections Seven Women and This Other Eden.  His collection of poetry, Ourselves or Nothing, was recently published. He wrote the screenplay for the independent film, The Watermelon, and has several other film projects in the pipeline.  His short documentary, "Life in Zona Norte," was screened at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.

Hemmingson Author page