Chris Fink: Add This to the List of Things That You Are
“Represents everything I love about great writing. Rooted in place, these stories are genuine and often heartbreaking. Fink is confident and cosmopolitan enough to range wherever he damn well pleases, and certainly far afield from the collection’s magnetic center—the American Midwest. The result is a collection rich with a diversity of voices, perspectives, and stories. This memorable, humorous, and poignant collection will stick with me for a long time.”—Nickolas Butler
“Chris Fink is writing some of the best stories being written today. He ought to be in every library where we keep our grown-up pleasures.”—Richard Bausch
“In this remarkable new collection, the Midwestern sensibility travels to Spain, Italy, New Zealand, California, and the ‘Geritol Valley’ of Arizona. Lyrical moments suggest it is enough for writing to be beautiful, and that beauty is enough to justify art’s existence.”—Molly McNett
A cat culler in an Arizona trailer park community mulls his daily routine. An old mercenary explains the history of edible eel in New Zealand. A divorcé plays homewrecker across Finland and Russia while his worldly possessions sit in a self-storage unit. The dark and stunning stories in Add This to the List of Things That You Are explore how we sustain relationships when everything goes sideways and how we find meaning when the old patterns and structures of life give way. Many of ChrisFink’s characters have outgrown their rural roots yet feel ill-equipped for the urbane scenarios in which they find themselves.
Many of these narratives center on the melancholic dislocations of Midwestern men—dislocations provoked by such forces as the unknown terrain of travel and emerging romantic relationships. Fink’s gift for voice and keen observation of place display the male psyche against unfamiliar backgrounds in high relief. These quiet, often introspective stories pack an outsized punch.
CHRIS FINK is a professor of English at Beloit College. He is the author of Farmer’s Almanac and the editor of the Beloit Fiction Journal.
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