Trailer Trash With a Girl’s Name by Stacey Roberts


Trailer Trash, With a Girl’s Name is Stacey Roberts’ lighthearted, often hilarious account of growing up in an unstable household during the 1980s. Full of humor, history, and hope, it follows Stacey from the hospital room where he was born to the Winnebago that carried him across the country, filling in the gaps with a wit and humor that anyone with a dysfunctional family can appreciate. So go ahead and start reading. Once you hop aboard the Winnebago with Stacey and his quirky family, you’ll find that you’re in for the ride or your life, where what you learn along the way is not only entertaining, but also enormously enriching.

Named Stacey when his mother mistook the delivery room nurse's name of Sheila, writer Stacey Roberts has clearly grown up with a terrific sense of humor because, well, is there really any choice in the matter? As he notes, in another time he “could have had a career as a rapper or a 1920's gangster.” Instead he has become a witty author. Books as well as banks should consider themselves lucky.

Roberts takes the reader through a rollicking description of his life and family, a family where the women are crazy and the men die young.

There is a delightful Jewish flair to Trailer Trash With a Girl's Name, from the edict that playing golf with goyim is a bad idea (that caused one of the deaths), right through to a recipe for chicken soup. Naturally, this is the only recipe for chicken soup you'll ever see that has no actual chicken in it, just a handful of bones. There are other recipes too and some initially sound tempting, such as the one for cream cheese sandwiches … until Roberts describes them as tasting of ‘the absence of hope.' Thanks. I think I'll stick to the peanut butter.

On the whole, Trailer Trash With a Girl's Name is great fun, even if Roberts' own life has been something less than that. Still, as someone or other once said, comedy is tragedy deferred. Stacey Roberts has both an excellent ear for dialogue, and a fine and professional sense of timing in knowing where to end a chunk of dialogue and get on with the exposition. Great fun, with an out-loud laugh or at least several smiles on every page.
–Reviewed by Arthur Petticrew, San Francisco Book Review