"Krouse...writes with a pulse-pounding and engaging ferocity that grabs at the reader...Contenders is heart-racingly original."
And Steve Almond says
"Contenders is a knockout! I've never read anything like it. The marvelous Erika Krouse has crafted one of the most unforgettable heroines in modern fiction. Nina Black is not the kind of woman you'd want to meet in a dark alley. But she's precisely the kind of character I always hope to encounter in fiction: a badass streetfighter forced by fate to confront her capacity for maternal tenderness, her need for love, and the anguished contents of her heart."
Monologue topics: San Diego, roadtrips, carsickness, wipes, fatherhood, going to see a bluegrass band, catching up, the antisocial nature of live music.