A really phenomenal review of Scandamerican Domestic came in today from KGB Bar & Lit Journal‘s David Burr Gerrard. Burr Gerrard notes that “Merkner’s sentences are crisp and cruel” and contends “the book resembles the movie Fargo with its heart fed through the wood chipper.” Awesome. Thank you, David Burr Gerard! But I am most pleased with …
… most pleased with this critical paragraph:
Also admirable is Merkner’s willingness to be judgmental about his characters. In an interview about the story “Cabins”—about a man too busy passively observing the divorces of his friends to pay attention to his own marriage—Merkner unapologetically says that he is “not a fan” of his protagonist, who “deludes himself, blames others he simultaneously emulates, struggles to manage his self-pity.” Fiction writers need to catch their characters in their lies, not cheer them on or even necessarily feel empathy for them, and it’s refreshing when a writer comes out and says so.
This is high praise — Thank you, KGB Bar & Lit Mag and Andrew Burr Gerrard!