Straining to Parallel Park in an Empty Field
Straining to Parallel Park in an Empty Field is a series of monologues, short stories and vignettes based on my everyday adventures over the course of a year. It was written and performed by me and mastered by Ivan Evangelista. The cover art was painted by Tyler Watson.
Listen to a Sample:
The Girl Who Woke Up Ugly
“Kane’s material ranges from the mundane (shopping at thrift shops) to the cosmic (the relationship between forgotten pieces of furniture and the meaning of life), and throughout the proceedings, her observational humor sheds quirky light on the peculiar vanity of the human animal: Our toes speak volumes with respect to our ancestral origins, Kane opines on one track, while our fascination with cars and rear view mirrors reflects the insular, hyper-self-conscious mindset of the species as we move into the twenty-first century. As a result, the majority of Kane’s pieces all but insist, we are forever doomed (in a fun way, of course) to obsess over the minutia of our lives – like whether or not anonymous truck drivers find us attractive, our fellow motorists recognize our passing skills, or, as the title of the collection suggests, we’ll ever master the Zen art of parallel parking – in empty fields or otherwise.”
– Marc Schuster at Small Press Reviews.
“The work is clear, beautifully written and well-observed – it flows with humor, and poignant feeling for the delicate longings and encounters with the world.”
– Paul Pines, author of My Brother’s Madness.
“She’s caged, horribly caged. But what she sees through those bars is undeniably unique.”
– Ed Pastorini, musician.
“Jessica Kane spins the ordinary straw of daily life into gold.”
– Persis Granger, co-author of Shared Stories from Daughters of Alzheimer’s
What some listeners have said:
Just wanted to let you know that I love your stories! — the collection is a very funny and brilliant response to the human condition (whatever that is!). Makes me feel better about “just being” with all of my neuroses.
What I’ve learned about myself in traffic was perfect. Not just that piece, but so many of your stories have been fantastic on several levels. I’ve listened to about half the collection so far – mostly sitting in my minivan on the way to pick up my kids. My kids have listened to some of it as well. You might get a kick out of knowing that my nine year old twins beg me to put you on. “Come on, Mom! Please. Can we please listen to some?!” They think you are the funniest thing ever. Micaela especially loves you. I had to laugh when she described you to her friends as “this really really funny, immature woman.” Ha ha. She’s only nine and still working out the nuances of her adjectives.
Thanks for doing this Jessica. In a weird sort of way, it just makes things feel like everything is okay, just perfect the way it is.”
– Jennifer Cannell
“My friend Jillian introduced me to the brilliant work of Jessica Kane. She writes little memoirettes that feel like fiction and has produced a spoken, audio version that comes on 4 CDs. If you like This American Life, Miranda July, David Sedaris, etc…. you might love Jessica. I want to make copies and give them to all my friends, but then I’d be giving her work away for free, so consider checking out her web site!”
– Greg Dember
Your Audiobook is like diversified aspects of an intricate, slow-changing one-ness, and your reading is honest and humane. It evolves. The book doesn’t stay the same. Jessica, You’re Awesome & (hopefully) You Need To Keep Doing This.”
– Rick S.
“I love the elitist dictionary… very creative”
– Jennifer Kraft