Dan Chaon grew up in rural Nebraska. Lonely and bored, he took refuge in his uncommonly active imagination. "I used to spend a lot of time by myself making up games, making up stories and pretending, and that’s something that became a habit that I wanted to figure out how to take even into my adult life without seeming like I was an insane person,” he says. Flash forward three decades and Chaon has established himself as a gifted crafter of fictional worlds, delivering a pair of novels (2009’s Await Your Reply and 2004’s You Remind Me of Me) and two short-story collections (1996’s Fitting Ends and 2001’s Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award) that teem with the author’s now well-established preoccupations with fractured families, uncertain identities, dislocation and desolation, all explored with a deep sense of suspense and foreboding. Now comes Stay Awake, a just-published collection of stories that again dives into Chaon’s obsession with characters struggling to find their way in the world.
Think The Twilight Zone by way of Raymond Carver.
DAN CHAON discusses his book Stay Awake 7 p.m. Thursday at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Read Jason Gargano's full interview with Chaon here.