News · 02/03/2012

Congratulations, Chad Simpson

Congratulations to contributor Chad Simpson, whose collection Tell Everyone I Said Hi has won the University of Iowa 2012 John Simmons Short Fiction Award. Here’s a description of Chad’s book from their press release:

The world of Chad Simpson’s Tell Everyone I Said Hi is geographically small but far from provincial in its portrayal of emotionally complicated lives. With all the earnestness of a Wilco song, these eighteen stories roam the small-town playgrounds, blue-collar neighborhoods, and rural highways of Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky to find people who’ve lost someone or something they love and have not yet found ways to move forward. In “Peloma,” a steel worker grapples with his teenage daughter’s feeble suicide attempts while the aftermath of his wife’s death and the politics of factory life vie to hem him in. The narrator of “Fostering” struggles to determine the ramifications of his foster child’s past now that he and his wife are expecting their first biological child. In just two pages, “Let x” negotiates the yearnings and regrets of childhood through mathematical variables and the summertime interactions of two fifth-graders. Poignant, fresh, and convincing, these are stories of women who smell of hairspray and beer and landscapers who worry about their livers, of flooded basements and loud trucks, of bad exes and horrible jobs, of people who remain loyal to sports teams that always lose. Displaced by circumstances both in and out of their control, the characters who populate Tell Everyone I Said Hi are lost in their own surroundings, thwarted by misguided aspirations and long-buried disappointments, but fully open to the possibility that they will again find their way.

Congratulations also to Marie-Helene Bertino, winner of the 2012 Iowa Short Fiction Award for her collection Safe as Houses.