Chris Fink is the author of two short story collections, Farmer’s Almanac: A Work of Fiction (2013) and Add This to the List of Things That You Are (2019). He is a professor of English and Environmental Studies at Beloit College and editor-in-chief of the Beloit Fiction Journal. He is also a regular contributor to Northern Public Radio, where he produces monthly radio essays about the intersection of the self and the natural world. A journal editor for more than 20 years, Fink founded two national short story prizes, the John Steinbeck Award, and the Hamlin Garland Award. Recent stories of his have appeared in the Mississippi Review, New Orleans Reviewand Witness.
He was a founding faculty member of the MFA program at San Jose State University, where he taught for five years and edited Reed Magazine. He is a recipient of the 2003 Silicon Valley Artist's Grant, and founder of the John Steinbeck Award for the Short Story.
Add This to the List of Things That You Are
A cat culler in an Arizona trailer park community mulls his daily routine. An old mercenary explains the history of edible eel in New Zealand. A divorcé plays homewrecker across Finland and Russia while his worldly possessions sit in a self-storage unit. The dark and stunning stories in Add This to the List of Things That You Are explore how we sustain relationships when everything goes sideways and how we find meaning when the old patterns and structures of life give way. Many of ChrisFink’s characters have outgrown their rural roots yet feel ill-equipped for the urbane scenarios in which they find themselves.
Many of these narratives center on the melancholic dislocations of Midwestern men—dislocations provoked by such forces as the unknown terrain of travel and emerging romantic relationships. Fink’s gift for voice and keen observation of place display the male psyche against unfamiliar backgrounds in high relief. These quiet, often introspective stories pack an outsized punch.
“Represents everything I love about great writing. Rooted in place, these stories are genuine and often heartbreaking. Fink is confident and cosmopolitan enough to range wherever he damn well pleases, and certainly far afield from the collection’s magnetic center—the American Midwest. The result is a collection rich with a diversity of voices, perspectives, and stories. This memorable, humorous, and poignant collection will stick with me for a long time.”
- Nickolas Butler