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


Scott Blackwood is the author of the forthcoming novel, SEE HOW SMALL, which will be published by Little Brown & Company, Fourth Estate/ HarperCollins 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 The New York Times and been anthologized in Janet Burroway’s Imaginative Writing. His two narrative nonfiction books, THE RISE AND FALL OF PARAMOUNT RECORDS, VOLUMES I & II, tell the curious tale of a white-owned “Race record” label that began in a Wisconsin chair factory and changed American popular music forever. Co-produced by Jack White, the Paramount books have been featured NPR’s Weekend EditionSound Opinions, and in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone and elsewhere. A former Dobie Paisano Fellow and long-time resident of Austin, Texas,  Blackwood 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

Little, Brown & Company Publicity: Nicole Dewey, VP and Executive Director of Publicity 212-364-1204 /




See How Small  

Little, Brown & Company, January 20, 2015


See How Small is superb. In prose that’s as fine as any being written today, Scott Blackwood plumbs the depths of a story that is alternately haunting, terrifying, and achingly tragic. Blackwood illuminates the human condition even as he breaks our hearts —Ben Fountain

One late autumn evening in a Texas town, two strangers walk into an ice-cream shop shortly before closing time. They bind up the teenage girls who are working the counter, set fire to the shop, and disappear. See How Small tells the stories of the survivors—family members, witnesses, and suspects—who must endure in the wake of atrocity. 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 Order See How Small


See How Small

Fourth Estate/HarperCollins United Kingdom, January 15, 2015


 Order See How Small (Fourth Estate /HarperCollins U.K. edition) here

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?  Order We Agreed To Meet Just Here 

In the Shadow of Our House: Stories  



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 Order In the Shadow of Our House 




The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume 1  



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 creative 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  

Order The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records Volume I

The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume 2  


Paramount II Cover Photo

A creative nonfiction narrative about Paramount’s final astonishing years and the unexpected rise of the Delta Blues. By 1928, after launching the recording careers of Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Blind Lemon Jefferson, King Oliver, Alberta Hunter, Ma Rainey and Blind Blake, Paramount was entitled to a breather. But just as it seemed the label might be losing steam, it began a second act that threatened to dwarf its first. From 1928-32, the label embarked on a furious run for the ages, birthing the entire genre of Mississippi Delta blues recordings by the likes of:  Skip James, Charley Patton, Son House, Tommy Johnson, Rube Lacy, Ishman Bracey, The Mississippi Sheiks, and the incomparable Geeshie Wiley & Elvie Thomas, who it turns out, were not what they seemed. This is the story of how it happened, moments of decision and accident that changed how America thought of itself.  The paradoxical story of how Paramount—a company only interested in profits—created the richest repository of the young nation’s greatest art form as well as intimations of all that we’ll never hear, America’s ghost voices.

Release Date November 18


See How Small

Library Journal

Similar…to Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones, this lyrical, abstract, and less sentimental novel by Blackwood…may haunt literary fiction readers long after the unsettling ending.


See How Small has much to say about the mysteries of the human psyche, the far-reaching effects of violence, and the disparate ways grief works on people…all relayed in dreamlike prose and shrouded in ambiguity.

Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter’s Bone and The Maid’s Version

Deaths of the innocent, and the various means and tactics by which the living manage to go on in the aftermath of unsolved horror, form the heart of Scott Blackwood’s haunted and haunting novel, See How Small. His prose is crisp and his narrative approach is fresh and inventive, calmly pushing forward, with characters rendered so convincingly you think about sending cards of condolence or calling with advice on the investigation.

Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

See How Small is superb. In prose that’s as fine as any being written today, Scott Blackwood plumbs the depths of a story that is alternately haunting, terrifying, and achingly tragic. Blackwood illuminates the human condition even as he breaks our hearts.

Peter Orner, author of Love and Shame and Love   

See How Small is the sort of book that is so good, it’s difficult to even talk about it. You want to just place it in people’s hands and say, ‘Shhhhhhh, just slow down and read this.’ Blackwood takes the most devastating story imaginable and lifts it-heart and soul-into something transcendent.

Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

Scott Blackwood is a wizard, and in See How Small he puts his skills to dazzling use as he anatomizes a town and a crime. Best of all is the deep empathy he brings to his characters, innocent and guilty, wise and confused; all of them are given the grace of his understanding. A vivid and astonishing novel.


 We Agreed to Meet Just Here

  EW_March 21-1

“Criminally Underrated Books”

Entertainment Weekly, April 2014

Richard Ford

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. He is a lovely sentence writer, and this first novel sparkles with invention.

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…


In the Shadow of Our House: Stories

New York Times Book Review

THE title story in this impressive and accomplished debut collection imagines the emotional ache of … MORE >


Blackwood penetrates life’s shadows with disarming candor, piercing the gloom Of contemporary domesticity in … MORE >


A strong debut collection about family disasters and betrayals explores ordinary dramas extraordinarily. Forced change … MORE >

The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records Volume 1 

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  

Interview and Reading s from The Rise and Fall on NPR.

NPR’s Sound Opinions 

Interview with Dean and Scott Blackwood.

Rolling Stone 

New York Times


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