Drawing praise from luminaries such as Arthur Miller, Davy Rothbart’s new short story collection The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas is definitely a title to check out. Creator of Found magazine, Rothbart’s collection is being lauded in GQ where the critic states “our favorite story concerns an aspiring rap-opera writer who has a confrontation with a Cujo-like dog, which come to think of it, sounds like the plot of a perfect non-Hollywood film.” More great publicity from Men’s Health who says “this collection of bizarre but sweet short stories from the editor of Found proves there’s lots more to the Midwest than corn and Chicago.”
Rothbart himself writes about the genesis of the story collection that “a few years ago, I was driving on a small two-lane highway through rural Kansas when I saw a bizarre and riveting sight‚Äî-a teenage kid had slung a surfboard between two dead tractors in the middle of a cornfield and was balanced on top, like he was practicing how to surf. Here he was, thousands of miles from either coast, the sun setting in glorious colors behind him‚Äî-I was mesmerized and sat there watching for ten minutes or so, and then I drove away; I don‚Äôt think he even saw me. But that image of him surfing in the cornfields stuck with me, and my curiosity about him kept growing more intense, so finally I decided to write a story about him, imagining what his life was like and what might have happened had our paths intersected.”
This looks like an engaging new book from an exciting new writer. Keep an eye out for a Slushpile interview with Rothbart appearing soon. In the meantime, buy the book here.