Stephan Eirik Clark was born in West Germany and raised between England and the United States. He is the author of the short story collection Vladimir's Mustache. A former Fulbright Fellow to Ukraine, he teaches English at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. His recently released debut novel is Sweetness #9.
From Clark's Q & A with J. A. Bernstein for Fiction Writers Review:
Clearly your novel, like many of DeLillo’s, takes aim at a number of American institutions: corporatism, fast-food, suburbia, upward mobility, Reaganism, the Cold War, the military-industrial complex, self-improvement, weight loss, consumerism. Did you set out to target any of these things, or did they just fall into line?Visit Stephan Eirik Clark's website.
All along, I knew I wanted to tell a big story—that of America in the 20th Century, that most American of time periods. So much in the country changed after World War II, and the books I admire most have tried to reflect that change, in whole or in part. What I didn’t want to do was tell this story in a way that readers had already seen, so I grew very excited when I discovered the world of flavor creation. It offered me so much that was unique and unexplored: a workplace that hadn’t yet been the setting of a work of fiction, industry-specific jargon and speech, and a whole range of metaphors and products through which I could discuss American life.
More than anything, I wanted this book to take on the processed food industry. As a satirist, I wanted my novel to serve as a kind of corrective to it, if only by asking readers to question what it is they’re eating. But the food industry doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so it’s what it reveals about American life that is...[read on]
My Book, The Movie: Sweetness #9.
The Page 69 Test: Sweetness #9.