Three years ago, after skateboarding back from a calculus study session, Delaney Kranz was smushed by a car on the corner of Myrtle and University. This made her panic about the brevity of life, and, when she could walk again, she studied abroad three times, hitting eleven countries across Europe. A Typical American Manner is a record of Kranz’s sardonic and often-brutal view of the world. This collection of short stories shows the accounts of a young woman struggling to figure out her identity, to figure out the worth of introspective storytelling, and to figure what it means to be a traveler, or really, what it means to be a human being at all.
This collection was written throughout a four-year period and features stories from Arizona, England, Greece, Italy, Germany and smack-dab in the middle of Silicon Valley, California. The narrative style changes gradually over time as Kranz herself changes, notably becoming less of an edgy, angry shitlord and (a little) more of a polished writer. Kranz detests pretentiousness and is often self-admonishing to the max. She does, however, break the wall of dark humor and sarcasm to allow for a handful of tender moments of self-reflection and peace—always in bizarre settings, of course, like the middle of a Korean supermarket or in the El Paisano’s liquor and burrito store on Lemon Street. The moments are there nonetheless.
A Typical American Manner is Delaney’s story, or at least, one of them. If you read it, she hopes you like it. Or that you hate it. She hopes it makes you feel something—either way is good.