Mark Brazaitis' Sherman, Ohio, invites comparison to Winesburg and Knockemstiff, the small Ohio towns immortalized in fiction by Sherwood Anderson and Donald Ray Pollock. Except Sherman residents in Brazaitis’ “The Incurables” don't feel trapped, like Anderson and Pollock's characters. Far from it. Here are their stories.
"The Outlaw Album" is Daniel Woodrell's first collection of short stories preceded by eight novels. It's a slice of life from backwoods Ozark territory, the setting for which he's known. His characters are violent, but you can't help but feel understanding for them. Woodrell’s novel "Winter's Bone" became a movie that was nominated for Best Picture at the 2011 Academy Awards.
Three years ago, Ohio author Donald Ray Pollock received widespread acclaim for his fictional debut, "Knockemstiff," a collection of short stories some likened to a modern-day Winesburg, Ohio, or what the New York Times quaintly referred to as "Winosburg, Ohio". His new novel is out this month, and it's another fine walk on the dark side of Ohio.
How this collection of linked short stories found its way to my reading table.
Here's a collection of short stories that's risen to the literary forefront, thanks to its National Book Award nomination. The author of "American Salvage," Bonnie Jo Campbell, writes with unsettling grace.