Nicety by Josh Russell of The Rise and Fall…

“Christopher Merkner’s Midwestern fabulism makes him the Grant Wood of short fiction. Rare are writers with the gift to mash up domestic and gothic in ways uncanny and heartbreaking, and Merkner’s one of the gifted. No one’s better at defamiliarizing a family meal, a kiddie birthday party, Grandma’s funeral, or the well-meaning, exhausted ways we reprimand our three-year-olds when they smack their siblings: ‘We ask her if she would like to be hit in the face with a book. We ask her if she would like to be injured. She says she would not.’ Trust me, you would like to be hit in the face with The Rise and Fall of the Scandamerican Domestic. It’s that good.”

Josh Russell