What We Won't Do by Brock Clarke
Stories

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Synopsis

Winner of the 2000 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction

Welcome to the strange, wonderful world of Brock Clarke. Here you will meet florists, dental hygienists, high school teachers, and peddlers of porno novelty items, all trying to be normal, good people and failing miserably. Reaffirming that "life, at its core, is embarrassing," What We Won't Do is a collection of tales about the miseries of the average, blue-collar worker who is anything but average. Here is a portrait of the Homer Simpsons and Archie Bunkers of the world, Knut Hamson style. These stories are more than insightful; they're downright funny.

"The honesty herein is not the sugarcoated sort, it's the sort that exacts revenge by goading others into doing what we can't or won't do ourselves. . . . You haven't read these stories before, and that's the highest compliment that I can pay them. That and the fact that they made me laugh, out loud, and frightened me a little, and still do."—from the Foreword by Mark Richard

Marketing plans for What We Won't Do:
• Author tour in South Carolina (Clemson, Greenville), and upstate New York (Syracuse, Rochester).
• Will coordinate additional tour with Harcourt upon release of his novel, The Ordinary White Boy, in September 2001.
• Newsletter, brochure, catalog, and postcard mailings.
• Advertisements in key literary and trade magazines.

Brock Clarke is from upstate New York. He received his Ph.D. in English at the University of Rochester, and is currently an assistant professor of English and Creative Writing at Clemson University. He has received awards from the Sewanee Writers' Conference, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the New York State Writers' Institute. He lives with his wife, Lane, and their son Quinn in Clemson, South Carolina.

 

About Brock Clarke

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Brock Clarke is the author of "An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England", which was a national bestseller and has appeared in a dozen foreign editions, and three other books. He lives in Portland, Maine, and teaches creative writing at Bowdoin College. Find him online at www.brockclarke.com.
 
Published February 1, 2002 by Sarabande Books. 158 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

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Such extreme situations are a staple of Brock’s fiction here: a man’s hand is severed (in “Compensation”), and its recovery raises deep questions about loyalty and duty to a friend In “Plowing the Secondaries,” another man falls in love, plans a future with, and finally has his heart broken by a...

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