John McNally at Bookie's
In his first memoir, John gives readers an honest and often mischievous look at his working-class childhood in Midwestern America. This intimate, biting look into John’s transient family takes readers through two states, five grade schools, 210 pounds, and a lifetime of insecurity. Like Dickens’s David Copperfield, he hopes to be the hero of his own story, but unlike David Copperfield, he is a fat boy who breaks kids’ noses in karate and has fantasies of living in a nudist camp with his kindergarten teacher. He saves his family at age four but unwittingly commits a felony at age eight. From an explosive night living in an Illinois trailer park to tumultuous father-son bonding at the flea market, John gives the skinny on life being fat. Hilarious and poignant, John shows readers that, in the end, remembering one’s bitter past can, in fact, be sweet.
John McNally is the author of three novels: After the Workshop, The Book of Ralph and America’s Report Card; and two story collections, Troublemakers (winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award and the Nebraska Book Award) and Ghosts of Chicago (a Chicagoland Indie Bestseller and voted one of the top twenty fiction books of 2008 by readers of The Believer).
John’s work has appeared in over a hundred publications, including The Washington Post, The Sun, and Open City, and he is a contributing editor to the Virginia Quarterly Review. His fiction and nonfiction have been anthologized in Long Story Short (University of North Carolina Press), New Sudden Fiction (Norton), Don’t You Forget about Me: Contemporary Writers on the Films of John Hughes (Simon Spotlight), Winding Roads: Essays in Writing Creative Nonfiction (Longman), The Versus Anthology (Press 53), and Behind the Short Story: From First to Final Draft (Longman), among others.
He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award and the recipient of fellowships from Paramount Pictures (Chesterfield Writer’s Film Project), the University of Iowa (James Michener Award), George Washington University (Jenny McKean Moore Fellowship), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellowship). He holds degrees from University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Ph.D.), University of Iowa (M.F.A.), and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (B.A.). A native of Chicago’s southwest side, John is an Associate Professor of English at Wake Forest University. He and his wife, Amy, live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with their many animals.