“In lithe, lyrical prose à la Amy Hempel and Noy Holland, Parsons's short fiction parses the addictions and desires of Texan girls and women, and will break your heart even as it makes you laugh.”—O, The Oprah Magazine

“[Black Light] crackles with the frenetic energy of the women who stalk its pages…Parsons’s characters are sharp and uncannily observed, bound up in elastic and electrifying prose. This is a first-rate debut.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Coming August 13, 2019

With raw, poetic ferocity, Kimberly King Parsons exposes desire’s darkest hollows—those hidden places where most of us are afraid to look. In this debut collection of enormously perceptive and brutally unsentimental short stories, Parsons illuminates the ache of first love, the banality of self-loathing, the scourge of addiction, the myth of marriage, and the magic and inevitable disillusionment of childhood. Taking us from hot Texas highways to cold family kitchens, from the freedom of pay-by-the-hour motels to the claustrophobia of private school dorms, these stories erupt off the page with a primal howl—sharp-voiced, bitter, and wise. Black Light contains the type of storytelling that resonates somewhere deep, in the well of memory that repudiates nostalgia.

“The bad-ass gals in these terrific stories are all attitude, and as funny and appealing in their imperfection and thwarted desire as you’ll find in any fiction out there. Parsons opens and ends stories brilliantly. I just finished this book, and I’m going to read it again right away.”—Amy Hempel, author of Sing to It

“The stories in Black Light are grimy and weird, surprising, utterly lush…I loved every moment of this book.”—Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties

“The very fact that Black Light exists in the world makes everything feel a little less bleak. These stories are funny and poignant and searching, full of taut poetry, not to mention the long pain and sharp joys of living and loving and lusting. In her debut collection, Parsons has put it all on the line, with a hell of a payoff.”—Sam Lipsyte, author of Hark

Black Light is savage, celestial, and gorgeous. The prose shimmers into incantation. Parsons dissects the guts of the soul, to show us how awful we all are and how crushingly beautiful.”—Hannah Lillith Assadi, author of Sonora

Black Light is a work of thunderous virtuosity. This debut captures a kind of truth that could pass for memory if it weren’t so steeped in Parsons’s voice and whirring imagination, piercing and singular. A luminous fever dream and a modern day classic.”
—T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

“Extraordinary, brutal, filled with wit and menace and charisma, Black Light stakes out a Texas by turns drably oppressive and shot through with ultra-HD colors. Contemptuous and empathetic, ill-mannered and sublime, Black Light is my favorite collection in years.”—Mark Doten, author of Trump Sky Alpha
Black Light announces a remarkable talent. Parsons sees right into the maw of the flawed humans that live in her worlds, which is to say, she spies the humanity in all of us. These stories are at turns heartbreaking and hilarious; keen and imaginative. Plus, she’s a prime prose stylist, one whose language never dips below flat-out amazing.”
—Mitchell S. Jackson, author of Survival Math