Blunt, brutal, but infused with a deep sympathy, Knockemstiff is a pitch-dark and hilarious collection of stories set in a tiny town in Southern Ohio.
The youth of Knockemstiff grow up in the malignant shadow of their parents; raised on abuse, alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, they are stunted in every possible way: emotionally, mentally, sometimes physically. They talk a lot about escape but they never so much as cross the county line.
Donald Ray Pollock, recipient of the 2009 PEN/Bingham Fellowship, made his literary debut in 2008 with the critically acclaimed short-story collection Knockemstiff, which was followed by the novel, The Devil All the Time. He worked as a labourer at the Mead Paper Mill in Chillicothe, Ohio, from 1973 to 2005. www.donaldraypollock.com