American Housewife

  • by Helen Ellis
  • Narrated by Kathleen McInerney, Lisa Cordileone, Rebecca Lowman, Dorothy Dillingham Blue
  • 3 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A sharp, funny, delightfully unhinged collection of stories set in the dark world of domesticity, American Housewife features murderous ladies who lunch, celebrity treasure hunters, and the best bra fitter south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Meet the women of American Housewife: They wear lipstick, pearls, and sunscreen, even when it's cloudy. They casserole. They pinwheel. They pump the salad spinner like it's a CPR dummy. And then they kill a party crasher, carefully stepping around the body to pull cookies out of the oven. These 12 irresistible stories take us from a haunted prewar Manhattan apartment building to the set of a rigged reality television show, from the unique initiation ritual of a book club to the getaway car of a pageant princess on the lam, from the gallery opening of a tinfoil artist to the fitting room of a legendary lingerie shop.
Vicious, fresh, and nutty as a poisoned Goo Goo Cluster, American Housewife is an uproarious, pointed commentary on womanhood.


What the Critics Say

"Ellis's 12 short stories about women under pressure are archly, acerbically, even surreally hilarious. By extracting elements from the southern gothic tradition, Shirley Jackson, and Margaret Atwood, Ellis has forged her own molten, mind-twisting storytelling mode. Her pacing is swift and eviscerating, and her characters' rage and hunger for revenge are off the charts.... Perfectly crafted.... A breath-halting balance of slashing absurdist humor and rich and authentic emotional sensitivity.... With monstrous children and cats, hopeless husbands, and covertly dangerous women, Ellis takes down the entire housewife concept with a sniper's precision. These are delectably revved up, marauding, sometimes macabre tales of ruined marriages, illness, infertility, crass commercialism (literary product placement), desperation, ghosts, even murder, featuring women of shrewd calculation, secret sorrows, and deep sympathy." (Donna Seaman, Booklist)
"If anyone can make the Real Housewives look dull, it's the women in this collection of darkly hilarious stories." (Cosmopolitan)
"American Housewife is a raucous, whip-smart collection of stories featuring retro-feminist ladies who lunch, launch madcap getaway schemes, and whack their naughty doormen with kitchen stools." (Elle)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The narrators make the difference

I really felt that having these short stories read with Southern accents and character quirks made all the difference. Some of these are little gems and are LOL funny. This is a mixed selection; I didn't love every one of the stories, but I recommend this for the humor.
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- Ruth Bain "RueRue"

Glad I bought it!

Any additional comments?

This book was great. I love the humor and truth in some of the stories. I usually do not buy books that are this short. But I'm very happy I did with this one!

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- Julie Flannagan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-12-2016
  • Publisher: Random House Audio