Praise for Summer Brenner’s writing:

My Life in Clothes

“...this is really a novel told in vignettes. Piecing together the narrative from one story to the next is half the fun. So is divining the meaning of clothes and Belgian lace in a story that plumbs far deeper things. It's a mystery of sorts, without the murder.” - by Christina Binkley, “Books for the Pickiest Personalities in Your Life,” The Wall Street Journal

“THE title story of Summer Brenner’s My Life in Clothes is a fierce and funny slip of a thing. "Early on, my cousin, Peggy, discovered that her greatest talent was the ability to turn a boy's simplest request into the world's biggest marvel," the narrator says. "By the end of high school, after she'd been squeezed, groped, rubbed, pounded, and humped, she eloped (out of sheer exhaustion) with the next young man who asked." Peggy is a recurring character in Ms Brenner’s energetic book of short stories. She reappears in one of the collection’s best pieces, “Psychic Shopper”, about a woman who is able to divine and fulfil the sartorial needs of her customers. It’s another pared story, just five pages long. But rich enough to be plumped into a novel.” - by More Intelligent Life, December 13th, 2010, The Economist

“From a little-girl Harrod's coat with carved wooden buttons to a black cocktail dress that sparks a friend's philandering husband to make a move on her (and then throw up), garments drive the bittersweet personal vignettes comprising Summer Brenner's new collection My Life in Clothes.” - Anneli Rufus, “2010 Local Book Roundup: Pot Brownies, Homicide, and Bondage,” East Bay Express

“Garment by garment, story by story, the author reveals more and more of herself, until you feel like you know her and would recognize her in the streets, if not by face then by her wardrobe.” - by Fish Monkey

“All twenty-six stories are brilliant in their brevity, yet rich enough to fill out a novel.” - Teresa Weaver, Atlanta Magazine

“Anyone who's formed a deep and lasting attachment to a vintage dress, an heirloom necklace or a beloved pair of dance shoes will relate to these brief, vibrant short stories by Berkeley author Summer Brenner.” - Georgia Rowe, San Jose Mercury News

Dancers and the Dance

“The wisdom of the body is Summer Brenner's terrain. She is the author as choreographer, a moving force with a pen.” – Sasha Anawalt, The Los Angeles Times

“....graphic, lyrical language to make us feel the rhythms, the hard work, the disappointments and the occasional exhilaration of something that transcends ourselves.” – Charlotte Innes, The New York Times

“Each story focuses on a different dancer and a different dance, and marvelously, the writer's voice takes on the style of the form so well you can almost hear the music in the background.” – Stephen Whitty, San Jose Mercury News

The Soft Room

“...The erotic realism of these well-constructed little stories does not obscure the deep romantic vision that fuels them....The feeling of discovery, mixed with sharp insight and closely observed detail, adds up to some of the best prose this reviewer has recently noted.” – Andrei Codrescu, Baltimore Sun

“....properly located in a tradition of prose stylists which has included Robert Creeley, Fielding Dawson, Richard Brautigan....these stories deliver what we want out of a novel (lived experience) through an amazingly taut, sensuous language.” – Lindy Hough, San Francisco Review of Books

Reading from The History of Metal

Reading "Because the Spirit Moved" to a tabla setting by Andy Dinsmoor and a video meditation by MOOV (dancer unidentified).