Chillicothe-based author Donald Ray Pollock garnered an impressive array of reviews when his debut collection of short stories, Knockemstiff, was published back in March. Everyone from The New York Times to Chuck Palahniuk praised the book's dark humor and its unblinkingly genuine portrait of what it's like to live in a decaying, debaucherous Midwestern town. Yes, Pollock grew up in the true-life Knockemstiff, Ohio.
Now you can add a stop at Bookworm, Michael Silverblatt’s revered KCRW radio show. Pollock’s appearance is a rarity for a first-time author — long an oasis for incisive conversations, Silverblatt prefers to interview writers with a track record so that he can employ his wicked analytical skills, which often reveal previously undected or rarely discussed trends in an author’s work. To put it in simpler terms: dude is smart.
In other Pollock news, he will be taking part in the second annual Books by the Banks at the Duke Energy Center on Nov. 1.
— Jason Gargano