The Hunger of the Cheeky Sisters: Ten Tales
The Hunger of the Cheeky Sisters lets girlhood hunger rove cupboards, blacktops, and playgrounds to find the sweetness we can cup with our hands - butterflies, marathon medals, the body of a telephoto lens. Illustrated by artist Lauren Rinaldi, these ten collected tales by Laura Madeline Wiseman show the strength of girls coming into their own.
Wiseman encourages the reader to embrace her body, her sisterhood, and her background—whatever it may be.
– Cat Dixon
Praise for The Hunger of the Cheeky Sisters
In the second person of these relentlessly gritty stories, you are not a spectator, but a participant, as the far-from-ordinary lives of The Hunger of the Cheeky Sisters sweep you up and unspool in their own surprising, dream-like logic. In stories that catalog and collage images so precise and visceral, the “hard, clacking bodies” of roaches that the cat “endlessly bats like ice hockey pucks across the smooth concrete floor” seem just as familiar as “the green, cracked naugahyde seat” of the school bus from which “you pull off puzzle like pieces of the material,” as universally recognizable as “the hard nobs of Bazooka bubblegum dusted with white powder.” Whoever you are, where ever you come from, take one glance into Laura Madeline Wiseman’s dark and shining world. You won’t be able to look away. – Megan Gannon
In The Hunger of the Cheeky Sisters: Ten Tales, Laura Madeline Wiseman introduces us to characters that possess tenderness, believable vulnerability, and a touch of grittiness. As we journey through a world of flea-ridden apartments, weekend fishing trips, locker rooms, and a loveless marriage, the reader witnesses young women struggling with self-acceptance, approval from peers, and the desire for security. The intimate details bristle with energy as Wiseman demonstrates repeatedly that she won’t shy away from the challenges and expectations society has placed on the shoulders of females. With her exceptional prose, Wiseman encourages the reader to embrace her body, her sisterhood, and her background—whatever it may be. At the end of one story, Wiseman writes, “You give up being his wife because you’re now your own.” A lovely line that resonates with truth as does the entire collection. – Cat Dixon
Laura Madeline Wiseman is one of the most exquisite writers I know. Her work is delicious with revelation and sensuality. Now, Wiseman’s Ten Tales has made me remember and feel that final bit of space between woman and girl. – Asha Veal Brisebois
This book is filled with the shame of girlhood and the grit of poverty in America. It is dripping with delight in femininity. Wiseman invites the reader into scenes from a woman’s life—of poverty, puberty, familial history, and love—relating the truth with honesty so discomforting it’s refreshing. – Blake Lee Pat
The Hunger of the Cheeky Sisters: Ten Tales gathers feminist working class stories in a witty and entertaining collection. Laura Madeline Wiseman delivers the personal discovery writ large on every girl’s body in honest, sometimes painful and sometimes humorous detail. From cockroach carcasses as cat toys, to urban childhood hunger, and through awkward love affairs, Wiseman’s visceral poetic imagery animates these girls and women and forces us to identify with them. It is hard not to compare The Hunger of the Cheeky Sisters to Lorrie Moore’s Self-Help, but Wiseman moves her succulent second-person stories into the twenty-first century with her candid style and lyrical voice. – DeMisty D. Bellinger
Laura Madeline Wiseman’s newest collection of short stories, The Hunger of the Cheeky Sisters, Ten Tales, uses second person to create a sense of unease. The reader is thrust into the center of the story, where imagery of poverty, resplendent with cockroaches, lice, and the perils of being female are shoved into your psyche. Her stories of young girls and women who deal in their own way with body image, femininity and hunger is raw, gritty, powerful, and real. Wiseman’s skilled rendering makes you appreciate how such a telling can be incredibly effective in conveying a work with an important message. This is a collection that will stay with you for a long time. – Lisa Kovanda
Reading Wiseman’s prose is like watching the world in slow motion, beneath a magnifying glass. It is full of startling images, meticulously rendered, of girlhood and poverty, the beauty, pain, and strength of a female body. – Kelly Grey Carlisle
What a gracious host to take the reader on an intimate journey through time and place that allows us to cry, cringe, laugh, and smile with the players in her collection. I found some characters identifiable just like the characters we love and hate in Jeanette Walls novel, The Glass Castle, but Wiseman delivers with more tenacity. I recommend you pick The Hunger of the Cheeky Sisters: Ten Tales up for a read that will make you want to read more of Laura Madeline Wiseman’s work. – Julie Larson, Blot Lit Reviews