Wednesday, July 21 at 7:00PM pt
GIVE MY LOVE TO THE SAVAGES: STORIES
by CHRIS STUCK
in conversation with DANA JOHNSON
A provocative and raw debut collection of short fiction reminiscent of Junot Diaz's Drown
A Black man's life, told in scenes--through every time he's been called nigger. A Black son who visits his estranged white father in Los Angeles just as the '92 riots begin. A Black Republican, coping with a skin disease that has turned him white, is forced to reconsider his life. A young Black man, fetishized by an older white woman he's just met, is offered a strange and tempting proposal.
The nine tales in Give My Love to the Savages illuminate the multifaceted Black experience, exploring the thorny intersections of race, identity, and Black life through an extraordinary cast of characters. From the absurd to the starkly realistic, these stories take aim at the ironies and contradictions of the American racial experience. Chris Stuck traverses the dividing lines, and attempts to create meaning from them in unique and unusual ways. Each story considers a marker of our current culture, from uprisings and sly and not-so-sly racism, to Black fetishization and conservatism, to the obstacles placed in front of Black masculinity and Black and interracial relationships by society and circumstance.
Setting these stories across America, from Los Angeles, Phoenix and the Pacific Northwest, to New York and Washington, DC, to the suburbs and small Midwestern towns, Stuck uses place to expose the absurdity of race and the odd ways that Black people and white people converge and retreat, rub against and bump into one another.
Ultimately, Give My Love to the Savages is the story of America. With biting humor and careful honesty, Stuck riffs on the dichotomy of love and barbarity--the yin and yang of racial experience--and the difficult and uncertain terrain Black Americans must navigate in pursuit of their desires.
Chris Stuck is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He earned an MFA in Fiction from George Mason University. He has been a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the Callaloo Writer’s Workshop, and the Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship. He is a Pushcart Prize winner, and his work has been published or is forthcoming in American Literary Review, Bennington Review, Cagibi, Callaloo, Meridian, and Natural Bridge.
Dana Johnson is the author of the short story collection In the Not Quite Dark. She is also the author of Break Any Woman Down, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and the novel Elsewhere, California. Born and raised in and around Los Angeles, she is a professor of English at the University of Southern California.