George Singleton, "Staff Picks: Stories"
George Singleton, Staff Picks: Stories
Thursday, March 14, 7pm
It’s Father’s Day 1972 and a young boy’s dad takes him to visit a string of unimpressive ex-girlfriends that could have been his mother; the unconventional detective work of a koan-speaking, Kung Fu–loving uncle solves a case of arson during a pancake breakfast; and a former geology professor, recovering from addiction, finds himself sharing a taxicab with specters from a Jim Crow–era lynching. Set in and around the fictional town of Steepleburg, South Carolina, the loosely tied stories in George Singleton’s Staff Picks place sympathetic, oddball characters in absurd, borderline surreal situations that slowly reveal the angst of southern history with humor and bite.
In the tradition of Donald Barthelme, T. C. Boyle, Flannery O’Connor, and Raymond Carver, Singleton creates lingering, darkly comedic tales by drawing from those places where familiarity and alienation coexist. A remarkable and distinct effort from an acclaimed chronicler of the South, Staff Picks reaffirms Singleton’s gift for crafting short story collections that both deliver individual gems and shine as a whole.
George Singleton has published seven collections of stories, two novels, and a book of advice. Since 1986, he has published over three hundred short stories, which have appeared in The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, Georgia Review, Zoetrope: All Story, Playboy, Agni, Southern Review, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. He has received a Pushcart Prize, the Hillsdale Award for Fiction, and the John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence. Singleton was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Writers in April 2015. A Guggenheim fellow, he holds the John C. Cobb Endowed Chair in the Humanities at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.