Sorry to Disrupt the Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell


Patty Yumi Cottrell

Price: £10 (print), £5 (ebook)

B format paperback


eBook ISBN:

Original language:

Published by:
And Other Stories

Publication date:
May 2017

Helen’s adoptive brother has killed himself. According to the internet, there are six possible reasons for suicide. But Helen knows better: she knows that six reasons is only shorthand for the abyss. Helen also knows that she alone is qualified to launch a serious investigation into his death, so she purchases a one-way ticket back to her hometown, Milwaukee. There, as she attempts to uncover why someone would choose to die, she will face her estranged family, her brother’s few friends, and the overzealous grief counsellor, Chad Lambo; she may also discover what it truly means to be alive.

Sorry to Disrupt the Peace is a dark comedy about suicide — and an introduction to a singular new writer.

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Praise for Sorry to Disrupt the Peace

  • ‘Electrifying in its freshness . . . equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking.’ The Observer
  • ‘Compelling . . . a beautifully sad and funny debut that disturbs the peace and makes no apologies for doing so.’ Irish Times
  • ‘Blackly comic and sophisticated . . . the memorable impact of Sorry to Disrupt the Peace . . . comes from what lurks unsaid.’ The Spectator
  • ‘I was captivated by this book and its disturbing-in-a-good-way narrator. The writing is fearless, with lots of laugh-out-loud twisted humour.’ Danielle McLaughlin, Irish Times Best Books of 2017
  • ‘The real attraction here is Helen: her perspective ranges from sharp . . . to askew . . . to unhinged. Cottrell gives Helen the impossible task of understanding what would drive another person to suicide, and the result is complex and mysterious, yet, in the end, deeply human and empathetic.’ Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • ‘There’s something uniquely perfect about the way that Patty Yumi Cottrell approaches humor in her first novel: by tackling [an] unbearably difficult subject via a protagonist whose voice crackles with wit and comedic brilliance, we’re given an insight that we’ve rarely seen before. And that makes for a book that’s truly impossible to put down till the very end.’ Newsweek
  • ‘Spiky, original . . . Sorry to Disrupt the Peace shines in harsh fluorescence. Gradually, we come to understand Helen better and find ourselves, unexpectedly, wishing her well.’ Seattle Tribune
  • Sorry to Disrupt the Peace is a riveting, tragicomic examination of a character who understands herself one way—as good, self-sacrificing, pragmatic, helpful—even when no one else around her sees her as such.’ The Portland Mercury
  • Sorry to Disrupt the Peace is rich with dark humor.’ Los Angeles Review of Books
  • ‘Sometimes the peace needs to be disrupted, and Cottrell does so with stunning wit, humor, and yes, tender sadness.’ The Rumpus
  • ‘Cottrell’s novel has a thoroughly complex and compelling narrator, questions of memory and family, and a fantastic sense of place. What makes it especially memorable is how its awareness of the structure of a detective story enables it to go to some very bleak, very powerful emotional places. It’s a moving and unsettling novel with a fantastic narrative voice at its center.’ Tobias Carroll, Lithub
  • ‘Full of dark humour . . . most definitely worth the read.’ Hello! Magazine
  • ‘Sometimes jarring, sometimes heart-breaking, and sometimes hilarious, Helen’s voice will grab you by the scruff of the neck and drag you through its existential abyss.’ The Skinny
  • ‘A dark, deep and at times humorous novel.’ Buzz Magazine
  • ‘A dark story laced with witty humor, Sorry To Disrupt The Peace is a poignant read that explores the complexity of a woman’s life through coming to terms with death.’ Natasha Kallish, The Riveter
  • ‘A poignant, profoundly empathetic look at the things that might drive us toward death, or toward life.’ Nylon, 50 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2017
  • ‘An unconventional detective story told from the point of view of one of the year’s most manically unreliable narrators, Cottrell’s debut is an unnerving character study of a woman who lacks both common sense and self-awareness in equal measure.’ Vulture25 of the Most Exciting Book Releases for 2017
  • ‘Helen Moran, the protagonist of Sorry to Disrupt the Peace, is as unique as Cottrell’s voice.’ Buzzfeed, The 32 Most Exciting Books Coming In 2017
  • ‘A compelling, emotional read.’ Lithub, 14 Books to Read in March
  • ‘This novel is sure to place the South Korean-born fiction writer firmly on the literary map . . . a sobering but undeniable sense of humor makes her narrative surprisingly life-affirming.’ Harpers Bazaar
  • ‘Helen’s foggy view of reality is a dark, dark comedic well, and debut novelist Cottrell tells her story with gutsy style, glowing sentences, and true feeling.’ Annie Bostrom, Booklist
  • ‘A tremendously moving act of imagination.’ Helen Oyeyemi, author of What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours
  • ‘Her voice is unflinching, unforgettable, and animated with a restless sense of humor.’ Catherine Lacey, author of Nobody Is Ever Missing
  • ‘A beguiling debut: absurdly funny, surprisingly beautiful, and ultimately sad as fuck.’ Danielle Dutton, author of Margaret the First
  • ‘Helen is an unforgettable narrator, both disturbing and delightful, who I’d follow absolutely anywhere.’ Isaac Fitzgerald, Buzzfeed 2017 Preview

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