Professor of English Brock Clarke is on the road promoting his latest book of short stories. Clarke, who teaches two courses on fiction writing, has been garnering some positive reviews for The Price of The Haircut: Stories (Algonquin Books, March 2018).
The author’s homepage describes the book as “bursting with absurdist plot twists and laced with trenchant wit,” while the title story delivers “a cringingly biting dissection of racial attitudes in contemporary America.”
Clarke, author of An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England and Exley, among other novels, now offers up “bite-sized morsels of his trademark social satire that will have readers laughing, and perhaps shifting uncomfortably in their seats.”
Many reviewers seem to agree: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle describes the book as “eleven wickedly funny and unsettling stories that cover hefty subjects such as PTSD, the fate of child actors and marital discord.” The article continues: “Laced with humor and written in Clarke’s characteristically understated style, The Price of The Haircut: Stories charms readers with its wit, mischief, surprises and unerring insight into the human psyche.”
Down East magazine writes: “Clarke’s recurring motif is the price we pay in pursuit of authentic human connections, between husbands and wives, parents and children, amid infidelities, fights, and irreconcilable differences. His stories teem with wit, vulnerability, and cringingly bad decisions.” Publishers Weekly meanwhile observes how “Clarke’s disquieting, droll work reflects humanity like a dark fun house mirror.”
Clarke is currently traveling across the northeast on a book tour which brings him back to Maine on April 25, 2018, when he appears at the Portland Public Library in an event with fellow author Ron Currie Jr.