"Chavisa Woods' Things to Do When You're Goth in the Country is part Flannery O'Connor, part Kelly Link: darkly funny and brilliantly human, urgently fantastical and implacably realistic. This is one of the best short story collections I've read in years, and it should be required reading for anyone who's trying to understand America in 2017." --Paul La Farge, author of The Night Ocean (Penguin)
Things to Do When You're Goth in the Country (Seven Stories Press, 2017; 200 pages) paints a vivid image of the bizarre characters that live on the fringes in America’s heartland. They don't do what you expect them to do. These aren't typical stories of triumph over adversity, but something completely other. It's "Murakami meets the meth heads" says National Book Foundation award winner Samantha Hunt. "Reader, you have never before seen anything like this."
The eight stories in this literary collection present a brilliantly surreal and sardonic landscape and language, and offer a periscope into the heart of the rural poor. Among the singular characters, you'll meet: a “zombie” who secretly resides in a local cemetery; a queer teen goth who is facing ostracism from her small town evangelical church; a woman who leaves New York City once a year to visit her little brothers in the backwoods Midwest, only to discover they’ve been having trouble with some meth dealers and UFOs that trouble the area. In the backdrop of all the stories are the endless American wars and occupations, overshadowed, for these characters, by the many early deaths of their friends and family, that occur regularly for a whole host of reasons.