THIS WEEK’S READER: CHRISTOPHER MERKNER

Merkner_upcloseABOUT:

Christopher Merkner’s first book The Rise & Fall of the Scandamerican Domestic: Stories (Coffee House Press) studies the corrosive influences of place and region on language and human perspective. He earned his MFA at the University of Florida and PhD at the University of Denver. His stories have been in Best American Mystery Stories, Black Warrior Review, Cincinnati Review, CutBank, Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, Fairy Tale Review, Laurel Review, New Orleans Review, New South, The Collagist, The Chicago Tribune’s Printer’s Row Journal, and the incredible Smokelong Quarterly (!). He is currently the co-director of the creative writing program at West Chester University, and you can follow him online at http://christophermerkner.com/

BOOK GIVEAWAY!

Christopher will be giving a copy of his book The Rise & Fall of the Scandamerican Domestic: Stories to the author whose story he chooses during his week of guest editing!

From the publisher’s web site: “Christopher Merkner is a Shirley Jackson for the contemporary Midwest, where the ties of family and community intersect darkly with suburban American life. In these stories, an enraged village gaslights unsuspecting vacationers and a young man delays a impending confession, fondling the nostrils of his mother’s pet pig. Sharp and uneasy, for these inheritors of tradition, that which binds them most closely—offering stability and identity and comfort—are precisely the qualities that set them back, pull them down, burden, limit, and ruin them.”

Submit away for a chance to win this amazing collection!

ONE OF HIS FLASHES:

“Swedish Shingles” from Monkeybicycle

SOME OF HIS FAVORITE FLASHES:

Two Fictions” by Meg Pokrass

DEAL BREAKERS:

I’m easy going, but I like flashes to work hard. So, my deal breakers this time around are (1) a complete absence of levity, and (2) a painful preoccupation with levity.

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