EVERY OTHER WEEKEND
By Zulema Renee Summerfield
Little, Brown April 2018
A house is such a thing. A tremendous, monstrous, beautiful thing. Put your face to a window, your ear to a door. See how a house is built—by what darkness, by what light.
The year is 1988, and America is full of broken homes. Eight-year-old Nenny’s family has itself split and doubled; she and her mother and two brothers have just moved in with her stepfather and his two kids. Her old life replaced by this new configuration, Nenny’s natural anxieties amplify, and both real and imagined dangers entwine: earthquakes and home invasions, ghosts of her stepfather’s days in Vietnam, Gorbachev knocking down the door of her third grade class and recruiting them all into the Red Army. Knock-kneed and a little stormy-eyed, she is far too small for the thoughts that haunt her, yet this creeping premonition of hers is not entirely unfounded. Indeed, tragedy does come, but it comes at her sideways and in the most unexpected way.
With an exhilarating, irresistible voice, Summerfield has managed to tap the very truth of what it is to have been a child of her generation, bottle it, add the particular alchemy of acidity and sweetness that is Nenny, and serve it up here in devastating, hilarious, heartfelt doses. EVERY OTHER WEEKEND is a novel about how a family fractures and reforms, and how we navigate the grief of others, all the while struggling to understand our own.
“Zulema Summerfield is among the best new writers I've read in a long, long time. She tells the truth, but with a beautiful slant, and any reader who comes in contact with her will be better for her singular vision.” – Peter Orner
About the Author
Zulema Renee Summerfield holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Her book of flash fiction, EVERYTHING FACES ALL WAYS AT ONCE (Fourteen Hills, 2010), was the recipient of the Michael Rubin Book Award, and her short fiction has appeared in The Heavy Feather Review, The Threepenny Review, Guernica, and elsewhere. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon.