Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Stephan Eirik Clark

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?

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]
Visit Stephan Eirik Clark's website.

My Book, The Movie: Sweetness #9.

The Page 69 Test: Sweetness #9.

--Marshal Zeringue