about the novel

Based in a small town in Central Florida, Ovenman follows When Thinfinger—skateboarder and pizza slinger extraordinaire. He is a singer in a local band, but his bandmates only let him sing their name, "Wormdevil." He has a girlfriend who dreams that he murders her and decorates their apartment with the skulls of small animals. His mother and stepfather haven't spoken to him since he covered his arms in bad tattoos, and his newly surfaced Biodad sends pathological lies by letter. When's philosophy is that anything worth saying should fit on a Post-it note and, following his beer-soaked nights, he learns to rely on nightly notes to himself to serve as memory. But when his own restaurant is robbed, and he wakes up to the phone ringing, his only Post-it clue reading "Don't pick up", the heat really comes on.


"In his utterly original Ovenman, Parker has created a time capsule of the nineties in Central Florida and an ode to the mysteries and hopes and acrobatics of youth. When Thinfinger, the skateboarding philosopher at the heart of this terrific novel, is brilliantly acerbic and uncommonly insightful. And awfully, awfully funny. Here's a brief note of which I hope he'd approve: This novel really cooks. Read it tonight."

—Bret Anthony Johnston, Director of Creative Writing, Harvard University


"One of the most raucous and fun books I've read in ages...Ovenman is a frenetic blast of pleasure: a depiction of America at its skankiest, populated with unlikely heroes and told with a reckless glee that commands serious attention." —Chas Bowie, The Portland Mercury

"Equal parts sleazy and frenetic, Parker's debut is a chortle-out-loud story about the sweaty, battle-scarred struggle between creating self-monuments and throwing hand grenades." —Annie Bethancourt, Williamette Week


State College, Pennsylvania - Thursday, Nov 20 - Penn State University, Mary E. Rolling Reading Series


about jeff parker

Jeff Parker is the author of the novel Ovenman (Tin House Books) and The Back of the Line (DECODE), a collection of stories and images in collaboration with artist William Powhida. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Hobart, Ploughshares, Tin House, The Walrus, and other pubs. He teaches at the University of Toronto and is the program director of Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia. He lives in Toronto, Canada.

"Jeff Parker is a writer who understands that voice is the doorway to all true beauty in fiction. Tight, wry, dark, and deeply funny—he is a master of the hyper-compressed sentence that explodes with more meaning and nuance than should be possible. Ovenman is a welcome addition to the literature of the lovably hapless by a young writer with talent to burn." —George Saunders, author of Pastoralia and In Persuasion Nation

"Funny, soulful, and energetic, Ovenman is wonderful." —Mary Gaitskill, author of Veronica

"Rarely are mopping and pizza dough so pleasingly rendered. Even inside When?s world of chaos, Parker's novel pushes forward with grace. This is a delight of a debut." —Aimee Bender, author of Willful Creatures and An Invisible Sign of My Own

"Mr. Parker has written a weirdly attractive life of people one thought had no life, the pierced and tatted Xtremes. Creepy, convincing, hooty, and fun. The movie will be scary." —Padgett Powell, author of Edisto

goodies (ipod ready)

Wormdevil Videos  
Wormdevil 1 [.sit]|[.zip]
Wormdevil 2 [.sit]|[.zip]
Wormdevil 3 [.sit]|[.zip]
Piecemeal Pizza [.sit]|[.zip]
Grenade [.sit]|[.zip]
Post-it Notes [.sit]|[.zip]
Wormdevil Music  
Wormdevil 1 [.mp3]
Wormdevil 2 [.mp3]
Wormdevil 3 [.mp3]


nerdspace http://www.myspace.com/iamovenman

for media requests: Deborah Jayne deborah@tinhouse.com

other intentions: iamovenman@gmail.com

site credits: design and videos by Ryan Molloy; songs by Bradley Armstrong