See how small a thing it is that keeps us apart?

Bio

Scott Blackwood is the author of the novel, SEE HOW SMALL, which will be published by Little Brown & Company in the U.S., Fourth Estate (HarperCollins) in the U.K., and in translation by Ponte Alle Grazie in Italy. His previous novel, WE AGREED TO MEET JUST HERE, won a 2011 Whiting Writers’ Award, the AWP Prize for the Novel, The Texas Institute of Letters Award for best work of fiction, and was a finalist for the Pen Center USA Award in fiction. The New York Times called his first book, IN THE SHADOW OF OUR HOUSE, “acute, nimble stories, an impressive, accomplished debut.” His fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, Gettysburg Review, Boston Review, Southwest Review, Chicago Tribune Printer’s Row Journal and been anthologized in Janet Burroway’s Imaginative Writing (2014) and excerpted in The New York Times Book Review’s ”First Chapters.” His essays on fiction and music have been featured in The Austin Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman, and Revenant Record’s American Primitive Volume II. His narrative nonfiction book, THE RISE AND FALL OF PARAMOUNT RECORDS VOLUME I, co-released by Jack White’s Third Man and Revenant Records, chronicles the improbable beginnings of the first wildly successful “Race music” label in a Wisconsin chair factory and was featured on NPR’s Weekend EditionCharlie Rose, and in The New York TimesWall Street Journal, Rolling Stone and elsewhere. A second volume is forthcoming in the fall of 2014. Previously a long-time resident of Austin, Texas, he now lives in Chicago and teaches fiction writing in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Southern Illinois University.

Representation: Ethan Bassoff at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin Agency ethan@lmqlit.com 

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Works

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In The Shadow Of Our House  

Powerful. Ambitious…beautiful music, line by line. —Andre Dubus

In the Shadow of Our House is an award-winning collection of nine thematically linked stories where people live on the cusp of the past and present, saddled with the knowledge that “sometimes what you’re thinking can’t be dovetailed with what you do.”

“If you had lived long on our street, and drunk late at our parties…” Read More from NY Times “First Chapters” Excerpt

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We Agreed To Meet Just Here  

This little gem of a book puts on lush display Scott Blackwood’s talent for measuring and connecting the previously un-connectable in lived experience, and making of it an entirely new whole which we immediately accept as true, natural, exhilarating, even inevitable. —Richard Ford

Entertainment Weekly “Criminally Underrated Book”

Winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award for fiction, the AWP Prize for the novel, and Texas Institute of Letters Award, We Agreed to Meet Just Here is a lyrical  mystery that delves into the very nature of disappearance. Once gone, is anyone ever really gone? A young lifeguard vanishes one night while returning from a screening of the Third Man. A doctor and survivor of the Jonestown tragedy goes missing from his home and is later seen bearded and ragged, wandering the aisles of a grocery store. A child is given up for adoption, another is lost up a tree. Its characters vanish from the landscape, from each other, from themselves only to reappear in strange and surprising ways.

“The river winds through the cedar and oak clotted hills west of our city…”Read More

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See How Small  (Little Brown 2015) 

In prose that’s as fine as any being written by an American today, Scott Blackwood plumbs the depths of a story that is alternately haunting, terrifying, and achingly tragic.               —Ben Fountain

Startling and revelatory, See How Small chronicles the lives of those left behind after an inexplicable tragedy—the seemingly random murders of three teenage girls—and their struggles to tell their own stories in the face of it. Each is shadowed by the promise of the past restored and the terrible beauty of their dreams, where they might bridge the gap between the living and the dead.

“We have always lived here, though we pretend we’ve just arrived…” Read More

 

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The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume I  

NPR’s Weekend Edition Story   

The true revelations arrive in the narratives… [which] bring the musical past to life in such a surprising and revealing way…          —LA Times    

    A lyrical nonfiction narrative about the curious rise of Paramount Records, a white owned “race music” label which began in a Grafton, Wisconsin chair factory and created arguably the greatest archive of popular music in American history. Paramount–despite its cheapness, bumbling ways, and willful ignorance of its black audience–recorded such early jazz and blues greats as Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Ma Rainey, Alberta Hunter, Ethel Waters, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charley Patton, Skip James, and Son House, and changed American music and culture forever.

Read More  in Rolling Stone

Press

IN THE SHADOW OF OUR HOUSE: STORIES

 

WE AGREED TO MEET JUST HERE

 

San Antonio Express-News

As we enter debut novelist Scott Blackwood’s intimate world, Winnie Lipsy is sitting in her backyard in Austin, staring up into a tree. She’s not bird-watching, but imploring her 8-year-old son to please come down before he falls and breaks his arm. Isaac falls, breaks his arm. That’s about the only thing predictable about the Texas writer’s revelatory debut novel, which builds on the solid foundation of Blackwood’s 2001 story collection “In the Shadow of Our House.” What’s most amazing about “We agreed to meet just here” — the title pops into the hit-and-run driver’s mind when Natalie, smiling, “explodes in the Blazer’s highbeams” — is Blackwood’s trenchant and expedient use of ideas and language.

Dallas Morning News

Scott Blackwood’s new novel, We Agreed to Meet Just Here, manages somehow to be both spare and all-encompassing, a mystery that delves into the very nature of disappearance: Once gone, is anyone ever really gone? Blackwood proves himself a master of connection; he depicts with almost miraculous brevity (the book is only 164 pages long) how seemingly unrelated events, actions, even thoughts, dangle strings that eventually get caught up in one another and weave a community together…

THE RISE AND FALL OF PARAMOUNT RECORDS VOLUME I  

Los Angeles Times 

It’s an impressive object, the Cabinet [of Wonder], with the heft of a hellhound, but the true revelations arrive in the narratives held in this first of two volumes, released in November. The market is filled with so-called definitive box sets. Few, however, bring the musical past to life in such a surprising and revealing way…

National Public Radio’s  Weekend Edition  

NPR’s Sound Opinion

Rolling Stone 

New York Times

Pitchfork  

Through scrupulous research, audacious design, and ostentatious packaging, this two-volume collection’s first installment does precisely what the best box sets intend to do—add proper deference and context to music that remains vital and significant…at once, it’s a history lesson, a dance hall, a bandstand, and a smoky blues parlor, all tucked neatly into one sturdy box. This is the Cabinet of Wonder, indeed…

In the beginning and, really, throughout most of the label’s history, the executives at Paramount and its parent company did not seem to understand the important trove they were building…That same oblivion resulted in the incomplete records and the destruction of the label’s archives when it went belly-up, a scene vividly limned by Scott Blackwood in the wondrous [Paramount book]. Such retrospective ignorance makes the trove of The Rise and Fall that much more remarkable, valuable, and edifying. This is almost-lost history, faithfully restored.

Austin Chronicle 

Blackwood provides less an exhaustive history than a poetic, character-driven account that evokes a mood and context through which to understand Paramount’s impact and the tableau of Chicago amidst the Great Migration. Building from the academic work of co-producer Alex van der Tuuk’s 2003 book Paramount’s Rise and Fall, Blackwood casts a scene and atmosphere, his lyrical sketches of artists and settings inspiring more potential stories to be further pursued than answers…the text becomes a threshold for entry into the music and the exhaustive catalog of period artwork in the cabinet. An extraordinary project…

New York Public Library Live: “Exploring Paramount Records” with Jack White, Greil Marcus, Dean and Scott Blackwood, Daphne Brooks

 

 

 

 

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