You might not expect weighty topics like class privilege and critical theory to be addressed in stories written by a science fiction and fantasy author. But Paul Park takes up these and many other issues in his latest book, a short story collection that features surreal developments and plot twists that play with readers’ expectations. (Encore presentation.)
A native of New England with Southern roots, Paul Park climaxed his “wanderjahr” in Asia and the Middle East with his Sugar Rain Trilogy, which established him immediately as a writer to watch. His fascinated readers have since followed him into Christian theology, the anatomy of colonialism, and the limits and possibilities of metafictional narrative. His diverse work includes narrations of museum exhibits with artist Steven Vitiello, and lectures on storytelling at Comicon and nonhuman sentience at Berlin’s Max Planck Institute. Meanwhile he has taught writing in a thirty-year career at major universities. He lives in western Massachusetts and currently teaches at Williams College.