Saturday, September 24, 2011

Short Story Saturday: "Dog Run Moon" by Callan Wink

The backstory: Confession: the first thing I do when I wake up on Monday morning is grab my Kindle and see who wrote this week's fiction selection. Sometimes I'll go on to read it immediately. Sometimes I'll wait until I've had my coffee. This week, however, I was baffled. I'd never heard of Callan Wink, the author. When I flipped to the Contributors page I learned "Callan Wink lives in Livingston, Montana. He is currently pursuing his M.F.A. at The University of Wyoming." I was so excited for Callan Wink, an unknown M.F.A. student in Montana to score a story in The New Yorker. When I tried to find out more about him Monday, this librarian discovered very little. When I tried again on Friday, I was overrun with blog posts and articles about this very story. Cheers to you Callan!

The first line: "Sid was a nude sleeper." 

My thoughts: One thing I've come to love about reading short stories is how little the subject matters to me. With a novel, the subject can be a commitment, but with short stories, it's easier to read outside of your comfort zone. The title of this story, "Dog Run Moon," is hauntingly literal. In its simplest terms, yes, this story is about a man running at night with his dog. To spice it up: he's running naked and two men are chasing him.

What I liked most about Wink's story is the way he managed to have intriguing action at a breakneck speed while infusing the narrator with an impressive amount of emotional backstory and character development. At times, I was reminded of Josh Bazell plopped into Montana. Mostly, though, I found Wink's writing to have both an impressive rawness and emotional depth.

Favorite passage: "Not for the first time in his life, Sid found himself envying a dog. Its fur. Its thick foot pads. A simple, untroubled existence of sleeping, eating, running, fucking occasionally if you still had the parts, not worrying about it if you didn't."

The verdict: Callan Wink is certainly a writer to watch. I enjoyed his interview with Cressida Leyshon almost as much as this story. The interview adds some nuanced details that enhanced my enjoyment of the story and my understanding of Wink.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Publication date: September 26, 2011 (in The New Yorker)
Source: I subscribe to the Kindle version of The New Yorker

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  1. This short story totally appeals to me, and I have to admit that the idea of the nude running dude is very intriguing and funny. I am going to have to check this out. Thanks for the awesome review!

  2. Great review! I`m reading this for sure!


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