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Winner of the 2016 Editors' Prize The Cupboard Pamphlet



There are oil slicks in a patrilineal line--spaces in which paternal securities and filial affections lurch and loosen. So how does a daddy make do? In Isle McElroy's collection, Daddy Issues, daddies mourn their children; daddies absent themselves from their children; daddies take the shapes of celebrities to steal the disguised wives of their friends. Sometimes, daddies burn in a barn. Through an accumulation of gears, string, and brute pectoral muscle, McElroy brings these daddies back to life that we may see them as they are, in all their splendor and flop.

Praise for Daddy Issues

"Vicious and haunting, luminescent and big-hearted, Isle McElroy's writing burrows its way to the deep tissue of feeling and lodges there, determined. A gripping and nervy dissection of familial ties and the ambivalent bonds that structure our reality, Daddy Issues will leave you undone." -Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine

"In Daddy Issues, it seems Isle McElroy would have you believe that he's most interested in the dysfunction inside families, in the weird and grotesque goings-on and the shameful secrets lurking in all our homes. And he is, perhaps, into just those very things, and for good reason: because what lives alongside them are our hopes, our dreams, our most genuine feelings, all mixed up in the often hapless muck of what it means to be a family." -Matt Bell, author of Scrapper

"Daddy Issues will appeal, really, to any reader who as a child experienced on more than occasion the frightening feeling that they will remain frozen forever in this phase called childhood, and who, despite having lived through it all, finds the inaccessibility of children’s mind frightening and their capacity for cruelty — that is beyond good and evil, as Nietzsche would put it, for it lacks any moral anchor — frighteningly other." Shastri Akella for Los Angeles Review of Books

"In Daddy Issues, McElroy elevates his fiction by experimenting with structure and with razor sharp considerations on the sentence level." Laura Spence-Ash for The Masters Review

"McElroy’s stories are frequently funny but grotesque and disconcerting, heightening their absurdity all the way to the end, while dragging these men to impossible—yet somehow plausible—lows." Jeremy Burke for Black Warrior Review

"Daddy Issues is a great read for fans of great imaginative texts. The stories deliver a novel’s worth of substance, gathering their staying power from great prose, dialogue, and voice. Within just a few short pages, McElroy reminds us that the chapbook is alive and well." Jonathan Austin Peacock for The Adirondack Review

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