My blogging abilities have diminished. Maybe five months ago, I meant to write something about Reed College — bye-bye, my soggy friend, I’ll miss you — and then, not long after, I meant to say a thing or two about Augsburg — hello, my snowy friend, I’m so happy you’d have me — but now even this sentiment has grown dated, as my first semester at the college is drawing to a close. More recently, I meant to post the final three blurbs collected for my forthcoming short story collection, Vladimir’s Mustache. But again, and again, and again, I did anything. Have I been thinking I’d get noticed and given a position with the SEC? The Justice Department? I can’t say, but I can try to make up for it. So here, all at once, a blurbapalooza:
From Jodee Stanley, the editor of Ninth Letter and first to publish my collection’s title story:
Stephan Clark’s stories span centuries and social classes, exploring Russian history in heartbreaking, breathtaking detail. Each tale in this marvelous collection combines an Old World gravitas with a contemporary edge, giving us characters that resonate as completely of their time, yet as familiar as our own friends and neighbors. You will find yourself lost, totally immersed in these stories – an experience you don’t want to miss.
From Ben Fountain, whose Brief Encounters with Che Guevara I loved:
Stephan Clark’s very fine story collection is a tour de force of historical imagination. Clark clearly knows the territory, and he brings it to life with an inventiveness and artistry that few writers can match. These wry, wonderful, often revelatory stories mark the debut of a truly gifted writer, and I look forward to reading more books by Stephan Clark.
And finally, from TC Boyle, boss of bosses and author of so many great story collections:
Elegant, classic stories that sift through history and paint a luminous portrait of an enduring cast of Russian characters. Clark is marvelously protean here, engaging multiple personalities and points of view, and his cold eye and ready wit shine through brilliantly.
My thanks to you all.