This Product is Available for Pre-Order
With dissonant black humor, Michael Jeffrey Lee explores a sense of dislocation and mounting unease in this new collection of dreamlike short stories.
In the final story of Michael Jeffrey Lee’s MY WORST IDEAS, a disembodied voice asks the narrator to write him a story. The voice asks the narrator to include “my jingle-jangle voice, my queer way with words. My general philosophy.” Strange jingle-jangle voices fill Lee’s new collection, mumbling to each other as the text, full of uncanny and unsettling repetitions, builds into a fugue. Lee’s characters are unable to get comfortable; they don’t feel at home in their cities, their relationships, or even their bodies. With dissonant black humor, Lee explores their sense of dislocation and mounting desperation. In one story, a lonely young man carries a pigeon’s headless body in his pocket that warms when he nears a potential friend; in another, a pretentious lover is carried down a filthy river after diving in to save his sweetheart, who couldn’t care less. There is an innocence and directness to the writing that makes it harder and harder to ignore the work as it circles the drain of its obsession.
“With irresistible humor and a fearless awareness, Michael Jeffrey Lee brilliantly deciphers the imponderable strangeness of the moment.” —Rikki Ducornet
Born in the Bay Area of California, Michael Jeffrey Lee spent time in New Orleans and now lives in Berlin. Sarabande Books published his first short story collection, Something in My Eye, in 2012. Lee's stories have appeared in N+1, The Rupture, and BOMB, among others. He received the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction and a literary grant from the Berlin Senate. In addition, he is the vocalist for Budokan Boys and teaches writing at The Reader Berlin.