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"Leave it to the audacious Sean Carswell to crack the code on this secret society of writers, especially after so many other publications (the Believer, ******, Vanity Fair) have tried and failed. I'm humbled and grateful to be immortalized in this wily, coltish collection with fellow strummers Flannery, Herman and weird old Uncle Thom."—Pam Houston
"On the surface, Carswell is a literary chameleon, moving effortlessly in and out of voices, genres, and styles, but underneath and above that, he is a born storyteller, always focused on his characters' hearts and minds and fitting ends."—Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
We all know Herman Melville, Jack Kerouac, Thomas Pynchon, Flannery O'Connor, Raymond Chandler, Chester Himes, and Pam Houston. Now meet their metaphysical ukuleles.
Mixing the flair of literary invention with real events in each writer's life—Herman Melville living with a tribe of cannibals; Raymond Chandler holding The Blue Dahlia hostage from Paramount Studios; Flannery O'Connor falling in love; Chester Himes threatening to decapitate his landlord, and many more—Sean Carswell takes the nonfiction of some our most famous writer's lives and turns it into exquisite fiction, with a ukulele thrown in for good measure. At times heartbreaking, at times absurd, the stories in this truly one-of-a-kind collection delightfully blur the line between what is life, and what is literature.
Sean Carswell is the author of the novels Drinks for the Little Guy, Train Wreck Girl, and Madhouse Fog, and the short story collections Barney's Crew and Glue and Ink Rebellion. He co-founded the independent book publisher Gorsky Press and the music magazine Razorcake. He currently teaches writing and literature at California State University, Channel Islands.