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Keith Banner, author of The Life I Lead 

“Jennifer Bannan’s Inventing Victor is a sharply written collection of funny, unnerving short stories that never settle for easy answers. Bannan’s characters, self-reflective losers negotiating their ways through life with the low-volume enthusiasm of pro-bowlers, narrate each story in deceptively simple voices. But the stories themselves are never simple or deceptive. Bannan is after a kind of truth most literary writers try to avoid; brutal honesty in the face of all the bad things human beings do to each other. The title story alone is worth the price of admission. Fast-paced yet creepily intense, hilarious and very sad, it tells the story of a fifteen-year-old girl who can’t stop lying, even while she knows this lying is slowly destroying her life. As you read this story, you start questioning all the lies you’ve ever told in order to impress people, all the ways in which dishonesty is sometimes all you have to keep yourself interesting, and maybe even aware of who you are.”

Neal Pollack,
the Greatest Living American Writer

“This collection is an almost tender evisceration of contemporary yuppie neuroses, and it mercifully doesn’t take place in New York City. Jennifer Bannan gets the details right..”

Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of Q Road

“Jennifer Bannan’s stories give us an uneasy, even queasy view of contemporary American life, in which people are alienated not only from their desires but from their basic bodily functions as well. Her protagonists are liberals, slackers and ad executives, each of whose complicated misery boils down to the simple desire to belong: to a love, a family, a community. And when romance has failed, when the bowling ball has rolled into the gutter, when the child abuser realizes she will abuse again, Bannan artfully guides her narrators and her readers away from despair and toward calm and honest reflection.”