Safe As Houses

Safe As Houses

”…In each of her stories, Bertino seems to tweak some grand cosmological constant and set the universe askew, as if for a handful of pages she’d changed the laws of gravity.” – Ryan Teitman, The Rumpus

An alien girl faxes notes on human beings back to her superiors, college friends with supernatural powers disappear a Church, Bob Dylan shows up for Thanksgiving, a girl has dinner with the idea of her ex-boyfriend, a door to door salesman peddles human hearts. Safe as Houses, winner of University of Iowa’s Short Fiction Award, a Pushcart Prize, and long-listed for The Frank O’Connor Award and The Story Prize, is set in a kind of Philadelphia where the laws of physics are mere suggestions.


Safe As Houses Book Trailer
Book Trailer by Ted Dodson.

Frame_SafeasHouses


Nice words about SAFE AS HOUSES:

”Safe as Houses, a collection of short stories making reading a truly healing and memorable experience.”Review, New York Journal of Books

”The stories in Safe as Houses are quirky and hilarious, but also tell honest emotional truths. It is exceedingly difficult to manage the emotional distance this kind of storytelling requires. Bertino handles her narratives with masterful care. Each one is a literary gem.”Review, Huffington Post Books

”If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would buy you all a copy of this book.” – Review, Insatiable Book Sluts

“I’m a sucker for a good short story, and Bertino’s debut collection is absolutely full of them. There are words for the individual pieces of her style: whimsy, surrealism, wry humor, a knack for hitting a nerve.”Review, Book Riot

“Marie-Helene Bertino’s stories are hilarious and heartbreaking and wildly inventive and her narrators are endlessly appealing and both fiercely proactive and stubbornly self defeating. That’s more than enough for me.” – Jim Shepard


“Nothing about SAFE AS HOUSES feels safe at all.  From the first remarkable story to the last, the author takes risks that left me gasping and applauding.  This is affecting and inventive work, work that breaks your heart with humor and mends it with compassion.  Again and again, Marie-Helene Bertino reminds us of exactly how much the short story can do, of how much it must do.  Hers are among the finest I’ve read in a long, long while.”  – Bret Anthony Johnston


“When have I last read such highly original stories? With a surreal edge and a brilliant dark humor, SAFE AS HOUSES’s tales of daughterhood and its mishaps mark a staggeringly good debut.” Deb Olin Unferth


The cover is designed by the poet Mary Austin Speaker: