This lively debut serves up a varied array of stories exploring the link between personal desires and social hierarchy. Recommended By Keith M., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A debut short story collection that explores the vulnerability, grit, and complex nature of our humanity from a new, vital queer voice.
A yacht races to outrun a tsunami. A young man jailed on a drug charge forms a relationship with his cellmate that is by turns tender and brutal. A family buys a rural slaughterhouse, and tensions with their religious neighbors quickly escalate. A teen raised by his eccentric gay father, a Turkish immigrant, finds his life fractured by violence. A fictionalized Coretta Scott King, surveilled and harassed by the FBI, considers the costs of her life with her husband.
Here Is What You Do is a bravura, far-ranging collection, its stories linked by sorrow and latent hope, each one drilling toward its characters’ darkest emotional centers. In muscularly robust prose, with an unfailing eye for human drives and frailties, Chris Dennis captures the raw need, desire, cruelty, and promise that animate our lives.
“Unquestionably artful.” Booklist
“In weathered prose and rusted experience that echo, humbly, the final stories of Denis Johnson, Here is What You Do offers its readers a painful gift: it’s always through love and the never-ending wish for it that we allow our bodies and selves to be policed, sometimes beyond repair. These stories will never leave you. ” Patrick Nathan, author of Some Hell
“Dark, visceral, and wide-ranging, Dennis's debut collection delves into the humanity and pain of highly flawed characters....With a fearless voice and a diverse array of characters, Dennis's debut delivers strong prose.” Kirkus
About the Author
Chris Dennis holds an MFA in Fiction from Washington University in St. Louis, where he also received a postgraduate fellowship. In addition to Granta, his work has appeared in West Branch and New Stories From the Midwest.
Chris Dennis on PowellsBooks.Blog
I am terrified of writing sometimes. There are so many ways for it to go wrong. I get anxious that the words and sentences I'm creating will not match the thing I've experienced or won't do justice to the importance of the idea...