Helen Moran is thirty-two years old, single, childless, college-educated, and partially employed as a guardian of troubled young people in New York. She's accepting a delivery from IKEA in her shared studio apartment when her uncle calls to break the news: Helen's adoptive brother is dead.
Helen knows what she must do, and purchases a one-way ticket to Milwaukee. There, as she searches her childhood home and attempts to uncover why someone would choose to die, she will face her estranged family, her brother's few friends, and the overzealous grief counselor Chad Lambo; she may also discover what it truly means to be alive.
A bleakly comic debut that's by turns poignant, uproariously funny, and unsettling, Sorry to Disrupt the Peace has shades of Bernhard, Beckett and Bowles—and it announces the singular voice of Patty Yumi Cottrell.
Patty Yumi Cottrell's work has appeared in BOMB, Gulf Coast, and Black Warrior Review, among other places. She lives in Los Angeles.
'A bleakly funny comic tour de force that's by turns poignant, uproariously funny, and viscerally unsettling.' My Cup and Chaucer
'[Cottrell's] voice is unflinching, unforgettable, and animated with a restless sense of humor.' Catherine Lacey, author of Nobody Is Ever Missing
'This book is not a diversion—it's a lifeline.' Jesse Ball, author of How to Set a Fire and Why
'Intelligent and mysterious and funny, Patty Yumi Cottrell's Sorry to Disrupt the Peace moves so mesmerizingly towards its blazingly good ending. One is tempted to read it as quickly as possible. But really, it is a book that should be read slowly, as some of its deepest pleasures lie in the careful observations, the witty prose, and just the book's really wonderful gaze on city life, and actually, on all life. This is a stunning debut.' Rebecca Lee, author of Bobcat
'A sort of Korean-American noir, lean and wry and darkly compelling, I respectfully suggest you read her now.' Ed Park, author of Personal Days
'Patty Yumi Cottrell's prose does so many of my favorite things—some too subtle to talk about without spoiling, but one thing I have to mention is the way in which her heroine's investigation of a suicide draws the reader right into the heart of this wonderfully spiky hedgehog of a book and then elbows us yet further along into what is ultimately a tremendously moving act of imagination.' Helen Oyeyemi, author of What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours
'Sorry to Disrupt the Peace had me opening my mouth to laugh only to feel sobs come tumbling out. It's absurd, feeling so much at once, but it's a distinctly human absurdity that Patty Yumi Cottrell has masterfully created in this book. In the end I felt ebullient and spent, grateful to be reminded that life is only funny and gorgeous because life is also strange and sad.' Lindsay Hunter, author of Ugly Girls
'Grief takes an unnerving path through a singular mind in Sorry to Disrupt the Peace. Beckett fans will find a familiar, but Patty Yumi Cottrell's voice is her very own.' Amelia Gray, author of Gutshot: Stories
'Behind every suicide, there is a door.' So says Helen, aka Sister Reliability, aka 'spinster from a book,' who is determined to open the door behind her adoptive brother's recent death. Her search takes her from a studio apartment in NYC to a childhood home in Milwaukee, and yet the investigation is as philosophical as it is practical, as was, perhaps, the death itself. Patty Yumi Cottrell's Sorry to Disrupt the Peace is a beguiling debut: absurdly funny, surprisingly beautiful, and...