Flan Parker has always had an inquisitive mind, searching for what’s hidden below the surface and behind the door. Her curious nature and enthusiastic probing have translated into a thriving resale business in the university housing complex where she lives with her husband and two young children. Flan’s venture helps pay the bills while her husband works on his dissertation, work that lately seems to involve more loafing on the sofa watching soap operas than reading or writing. The secret of her enterprising success: unique and everyday treasures bought from the auctions of forgotten and abandoned storage units.
When Flan secures the winning bid on a box filled only with an address and a note bearing the word “yes,” she sets out to discover the source of this mysterious message and its meaning. Armed with a well-worn copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass that she turns to for guidance and solace, Flan becomes determined to find the “yes” in her own life. This search inward only strengthens her desire to unearth the hidden stories of those around her–in particular, her burqa-clad Afghan neighbor. Flan’s interest in this intriguing and secretive woman, however, comes at a formidable price for Flan and her family.
Set during the year following the September 11 attacks, Self Storage explores the raw insecurities of a changed society. With lush writing, great humor, and a genuine heart, Gayle Brandeis takes a peek into the souls of a woman and a community–and reveals that it is not our differences that drive us apart but our willful concealment of the qualities that connect us.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Self Storage|
|Release Date: 02-12-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Self Storage|
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"Unscrew the locks from the doors!
Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!
I celebrate myself
Sorry. I just can’t do it.
Walt Whitman starts “Song of Myself,” the greatest poem in the world, with those three words. I wish I could follow his lead, start the same way, but I can’t. The words sound tinny in my own voice—arrogant, wrong. Maybe someday I’ll be able to say “I celebrate myself” freely, even joyfully, like he does, but I’m not there yet.
Whitman’s book saved my life. Leaves of Grass saved my ass. If it wasn’t for that book, I might be in jail right now. If it wasn’t for that book, I wouldn’t be writing this one.
I have to admit, it’s a bit intimidating to write under Whitman’s long and illustrious shadow. I suppose I could try to picture him in his underwear. It worked for Marcia Brady when she gave her big speech (not that Whitman was in the audience at Westdale High). I have an advantage: I’ve already seen Whitman naked. A series of photos by Thomas Eakins from the early 1880s—“Old man, seven photographs.” Whitman’s name isn’t mentioned, but I can tell it’s him. Others have thought so, too. He was pretty cute for a sixty-something-year-old. I love how his belly pouches out just a little, the way my daughter Nori’s does over her diaper. I love the way he cocks one hip to the side—a little peevish, a little saucy. I love seeing him stripped bare.
I guess I have to strip myself bare here. I have to unload all