Shelf notes: American Housewife by Helen Ellis*

American Housewife by Helen EllisThis is a dark and humorous collection of short stories set in the world of the American housewife. They are a select group, childless and privileged, who feud via email about wainscoting, discuss the code of the Southern lady, and how to become a patron of the arts. Those three are laugh-out-loud funny, especially the first, while some of the others have a darker tone.

A couple, Dumpster Diving With The Stars and My Novel Is Brought To You By The Good People At Tampax, although good, feel rather disjointed from the rest of the collection.

Overall though, I liked this collection very much. Ellis’ writing is engaging and her use of language is clever. A perfect read for dismal January days.

The author’s bio is one of the more intriguing I’ve read: as well as being a novelist, “she is a poker player who competes on the national tournament circuit.”  She tweets at @WhatIDoAllDay and the book is out tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s a bite-size short story at

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