Kevin Kramer Starts on Monday
Kevin Kramer is the new senior vice president of the Products Profit center at Production Solutions. He’s worked hard for all his success. It’s taken him years to perfect a non-clammy handshake. He speaks “corporate” like a second language, working words like “tonnage” and “fungible” into casual conversation. But Kevin Kramer harbors many dark secrets.
In fact, for all the characters in these stories, avoiding the truth is a full-time job: An HR manager tries desperately to maintain order, even as the entire software department vanishes under mysterious circumstances. An estranged sister devises her comeback by throwing together a DIY wedding shower. A man who wears a Chewbacca costume feels he is uniquely qualified to divide the world into winners and losers. And a call center representative tries to give himself a pep talk after a particularly egregious client interaction.
The satirical short stories in Kevin Kramer Starts on Monday tell the tales of souls adrift in a corporate netherworld. The collection details the delusions the characters wear as comfortably as their khakis and no-iron button downs to skewer corporate culture and, more generally, the lies we all tell ourselves in order to persevere.
Praise for Kevin Kramer Starts on Monday
"KEVIN KRAMER STARTS ON MONDAY made me laugh out loud for the first time in fifteen years. Thank you, Debbie Graber. Buy this book!"
—Steve Carell, actor and comedian
"The stories in KEVIN KRAMER STARTS ON MONDAY are funny and funny-sad, formally bold, and a total delight to read. Graber captures perfectly the absurdities of contemporary, corporate America and her fabulous debut reminds us that we are all searching for meaning and human connection."
—Edan Lepucki, author of CALIFORNIA
"KEVIN KRAMER STARTS ON MONDAY skewers that place where so many of us spend our days and about which we spend the other hours of our lives complaining: the modern workplace. In this bitingly funny, precisely crafted collection, Debbie Graber takes on office excess: happy hours, overtime, trysts, and petty grievances. In doing so, she questions our societal notions of success and failure and invites us to laugh at our bosses and coworkers and, perhaps most of all, ourselves—knowing that if we don’t laugh, we just might cry. KEVIN KRAMER STARTS ON MONDAY is satire at its most incisive."
—Lori Ostlund, author of AFTER THE PARADE
"Graber's hilarious, dark, and original stories, set in the parking lots, break rooms, therapist's offices, and open-office floor plans of today's workplace, are as brilliant as they are original. With laugh-out-loud humor and a wildly keen eye for detail, Graber doesn't just brilliantly satirize our heavily corporate and medicated world, she wonderfully eviscerates it."
—J. Ryan Stradal, author of KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST
"KEVIN KRAMER STARTS ON MONDAY offers satirical fiction that causes you to howl with laughter at the same moment its sharply exposed horrors cut into you. Debbie Graber's stories capture the absurdities of the 21st century corporate workplace in which white-collar millennials find their inboxes always brimming with new incentives for betrayal and self-betrayal. Neither the powerless nor the powerful outrun their demons in these brilliantly funny and bruising tales of American 'enterprise.'"
—Kevin McIlvoy, author of A WALTZ
"Debbie Graber's stories are crisp, sardonic, and funny—as antic and acerbic as they are intelligent and alert. A sly and incisive observer of human nature, Debbie Graber will win you over with this delightful debut."
—Sara Levine, author of TREASURE ISLAND!!!
"Kevin Kramer is a tough negotiator. Kevin Kramer has an Aeron chair which cost 800 bucks. 95% of employees surveyed think you should go out and buy KEVIN KRAMER STARTS ON MONDAY right away."
—Cath Murphy, Lit Reactor