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March 12, 2007
Christopher Coake The British magazine of new writing, Granta, named Christopher Coake one of the top 21 Best of Young American Novelists, an honor bestowed only once every decade.
"I am tremendously humbled that the judges felt that I was worthy of the honor. It makes me want to live up to it," said Coake, assistant professor of English. "I had to write a new story for the selection process and that increased the pressure."
Coake submitted, 'That First Time,' a short story about a man who assesses the influences of his life's choices after learning of the death of a high school girlfriend.
Coake's debut collection of short stories We're in Trouble was published in April 2005. It is a dark examination of how characters experience love and for some impending death.
The characters in We're in Trouble each confront the news differently," Coake said. "Some take it well. Some don't. I wanted to let characters of all stripes become good, bad or ugly."
We're in Trouble has been published in the United States, Britain, Italy, France, and Germany, where it's in a third printing.
"I hope that this recognition in Granta will reach a wide audience where my book, We're in Trouble, has been selling well," Coake said. "It will also increase exposure for me in the U.S., where short stories have a more difficult time finding an audience."
Coake is a featured presenter at the "Books & Authors" series, sponsored by Nevada Center for the Book, Nevada Humanities, and the Academy for the Environment. His free lecture is scheduled for March 27 at 7 p.m., at the McKinley Arts and Culture Center.