Novels by Peter Stenson
Forthcoming from Regal House Publishing
Elliot Svendson has returned to her childhood Minnesota home to lick her wounds after catching her professor husband between the legs of one of his grad students. Leaving behind a promising academic career, she finds herself raising her five-year-old son solo and working at a Talbot’s in the mall to make ends meet. It’s there that she meets Madison Johnson, a young man with a penchant for skateboards, weed, and older women. What Elliot doesn’t know is that Madison isn’t even 18. When the two begin to have an affair, they have no idea that it will send shockwaves through their own lives and those of the people closest to them.
RETAIL EMPLOYEES is told in four parts (Elliot’s own narration, chapters from her ex’s unpublished memoir, Madison’s screenplay version of the events, and young Jacob Svendson’s eventual college application essays), and is authored by a fifth character, the now-adult Netta-Mae Johnson. The novel is both epic and intimate, striving to balance rage, resignation, humor and heartbreak through the dissection of the brief affair that sends these five lives spinning out of control.
THE SEXUAL LIVES OF SUBURBANITES
Forthcoming from JackLeg Press
In eleven fearless, wide-ranging stories, The Sexual Lives of Suburbanites offers us a sometimes absurdist, sometimes satirical but always fresh glimpse into the things that trouble us most. From materialism to regrets and everything in-between, Stenson dissects suburban milieu. Whether narrated by e-trading infants or drug addicts, the characters' worlds unfold with energy and surprise. Variously whimsical, obsessive, charming, and dark, the stories also break your heart.
The Survivors, their members known only by the order in which they joined, live alone in a rural Colorado mansion. They believe that sickness bears honesty. And that honesty bears change. Fueled by the ritualized Cytoxan treatments that leave them on the verge of death, they instigate the Day of Gifts, a day that spells shocking violence and the group's demise.
Enter Mason Hues, formerly known as Thirty-Seven, the group's final member and the only one both alive and free. Eighteen years old and living in a spartan apartment after his release from a year of intensive mental health counseling, he takes a job at a thrift shop and expects to while away his days as quietly and unobtrusively as possible.
But when his enigmatic boss Talley learns his secret, she comes to believe that there is still hope in the Survivor philosophy. She pushes Mason to start the group over again --
this time with himself as One.
Part Fight Club, part The Girls, and entirely unlike anything you've ever experienced, Peter Stenson's Thirty-Seven is an audacious and austere novel that explores our need to belong. Our need to be loved. Our need to believe in something greater than ourselves, and our ultimate capacity for self-delusion
When Chase Daniels first sees the little girl in umbrella socks tearing open the Rottweiler, he's not too concerned. As a longtime meth addict, he’s no stranger to horrifying, drug-fueled hallucinations.
But as he and his fellow junkies soon discover, the little girl is no illusion. The end of the world really has arrived.
The funny thing is, Chase’s life was over long before the apocalypse got here, his existence already reduced to a stinking basement apartment and a filthy mattress and an endless grind of buying and selling and using. He’s lied and cheated and stolen and broken his parents’ hearts a thousand times. And he threw away his only shot at sobriety a long time ago, when he chose the embrace of the drug over the woman he still loves.
And if your life’s already shattered beyond any normal hopes of redemption…well, maybe the end of the world is an opportunity. Maybe it’s a last chance for Chase to hit restart and become the man he once dreamed of being. Soon he’s fighting to reconnect with his lost love and dreaming of becoming her hero among civilization’s ruins.
But is salvation just another pipe dream?
Propelled by a blistering first-person voice and featuring a powerfully compelling antihero, Fiend is at once a riveting portrait of addiction, a pitch-black love story, and a meditation on hope, redemption, and delusion—not to mention one hell of a zombie novel.