Praise & Reviews

"These amazing stories have an inviting surface and a complex core that is in bitter conversation with it. They possess intelligence and grace of every sort."
—Lorrie Moore

Home Remedies Description
Praise & Reviews


Home Remedies by Angela Pneuman

2007 • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
240 pages
ISBN13: 9780156030755/ISBN-10: 0156030756

“In these eight carefully wrought stories, set mostly in Kentucky, an exorcism is performed in the basement of a Methodist church, a teen-ager becomes convinced that she is “history’s second pregnant virgin,” a divorced father returns from a trip to Jerusalem under the impression that he is a prophet, and an elderly churchwoman performs home surgeries with a bottle of Jim Beam and an ice pick…Pneuman shrewdly probes the dark underside of idealized emotions like faith, frequently employing adolescent narrators to reveal adults’ hypocrisy…”

The New Yorker

“…darkly hilarious…short stories…not the kind of girls you’d expect to meet in the evangelical Christian communities that Pneuman brings to life. Her girls dance and swear, drink and lie; they deflower each other with cucumbers and threaten their mothers with golf clubs. Pneuman…offers a clear-eyed view of the role religion plays in the lives of her characters. But her real subject is the complexity of female relationships, the ways that women depend on each other in a world where men often make themselves scarce…”

San Francisco Chronicle

“The quietly desperate girls who slouch and grimace and pray through Angela Pneuman’s pitch-perfect debut story collection, Home Remedies (Harcourt), live in Bible Belt Kentucky and have names like Priscilla and Shiloh and Laeticia. They have mothers who suck the air out of a room and keen about love… best friends as benign as scorpions, and fathers who are absent or dying or crazed. With her dark sense of humor and almost eerie apprehension of what people are too clenched to say, Pneuman is a stunning new talent to watch.”

O, The Oprah Magazine

“… ‘Invitation,’ one of the best pieces, explores the obsessive fear of a young Christian teen about premarital sex and how that fear plays out in a camp meeting where her father is the evangelist. The themes are often gritty: mental illness, cruelty, divorce, sexual exploration and coping with death. Pneuman’s fine literary writing is excellent enough to land several of these pieces in publications such as The Best American Short Stories (“All Saints Day”) and Ploughshares (“The Long Game”)…”
Publishers Weekly

“…The characters are bigger than the pages they inhabit, not because the stories themselves are small, but because the characters register a humor and terror that are so large….”

The Believer

“Smart, brave and unflinchingly honest, Angela Pneuman is a writer of such flinty brilliance and such dead-on, dead-pan humor it’s often hard to believe you’ve arrived at the end of a story until stunned by the last gesture or word.”
—ZZ Packer, author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

“Without a doubt, Angela Pneuman is one of the most astonishingly talented young writers working today. Her dark humor evokes Lorrie Moore, the richness and depth of her narratives call to mind Alice Munro, but these stories are all her own.”
—Julie Orringer, author of How to Breathe Underwater and The Invisible Bridge

“This book is as fresh and astringent as a raw secret whispered just before church.”
—Ron Carlson

“These amazing stories have an inviting surface and a complex core that is in bitter conversation with it. They possess intelligence and grace of every sort. Angela Pneuman must surely be one of the most gifted young writers around.”
—Lorrie Moore, author of Bark, Self-Help and Birds of America