Alex McElroy, an Inprint Brown Foundation Fellow, has accomplished much as a writer: his work appears or is forthcoming in The Atlantic, Black Warrior Review, Tin House, The Kenyon Review Online and numerable other respected journals; he is currently a Fiction Editor for Gulf Coast; and he was awarded the 2016 Neutrino Prize from Passages North. What he can now add to his impressive CV is a book, specifically his chapbook, Daddy Issues, which, oh by the way, won the 2016 Editors’ Prize from The Cupboard Pamphlet. He’ll be reading at Brazos Bookstore on Friday, Sept. 8 at 7 pm, so I caught up with this busy man to ask him some questions about this latest accomplishment. Here’s what the handsome man had to say.
MATTHEW KRAJNIAK: Daddy Issues is a chapbook, which is a kind of publication that people may not be familiar with or typically associate with fiction. What exactly is a chapbook and how did this work come to be so?
ALEX McELROY: Chapbooks are normally shorter than full-length collections—and, like you said, they’re often associated with poetry rather than prose. In my case, I chose to write a chapbook because I had a series of stories that didn’t fit into a full collection—tonally, thematically—but which worked together quite well. I didn’t want to give up on those stories just because they weren’t right for a larger collection. So, I gathered them into a chapbook. Publishing Daddy Issues was an opportunity for the stories to speak to each other without forcing them into a full-length collection of stories. Here, the subject matter and themes feel more concentrated than they might in a larger book. And I’m very glad that the pieces were able to find a home together in Daddy Issues. Continue reading