Drunk & Crying on Stilts is a birds-eye view of an unforgettable family out of whack, told through the eyes of a pugnacious child who holds out hope that one of the TV families she worships will one day adopt her. Part nod to her drunken but well-intentioned father, and part trip through her mother’s demon battleground, Renee Payne captures the voice of the young heroine perfectly.
As the family tree unfolds, we meet one irresistible character after the next: a blind, banjo-playing uncle, an aunt who lives in a truck with a collection of maimed kittens, a senile grandmother who is terrified of spiders and thunder, and a foul-mouthed Bible-toting aunt.
Payne is a natural storyteller, using all of these players and their mashed potato sandwiches to take a sharp-witted, unflinching, and darkly comedic look at a childhood in isolation. A master at blending heartbreak and hilarity, you can’t help but cheer her on through some of the most bizarre ideas of child-rearing to ever be told.
Advance praise for Drunk & Crying on Stilts:
“You made me sound like a monster.” – Renee’s mother (said with a Southern lilt and not a hint of self-awareness)