Black Lawrence Press is pleased to announce the upcoming publication of short story collection Pictures of Houses with Water Damage by Michael Hemmingson. Pictures of Houses with Water Damage is a collection of American short stories about loneliness, betrayal, and redemption in relationships and families. Written in a spare, concise, and singular style, Michael Hemmingson explores the many ways people react to broken and mended hearts, happiness, and hope in contemporary settings from kitchens, motel rooms, to a science station in the South Pole.
Michael Hemmingson has been called “Raymond Carver on acid” by literary guru Larry McCaffery and “a disciple of a quick and dirty literature” by the American Book Review. Some of his previous books include the novels Wild Turkey (Forge Books), The Rose of Heaven (Prime Books), The Comfort of Women (Blue Moon) and In the Background is a Walled City (Borgo Press). He co-edited Expelled from Eden: A William T. Vollmann Reader (Thunder’s Mouth Press) and will soon publish a critical study on Vollmann (from McFarland) and an annotated bibliography of Vollmann’s many words (from Scarecrow Press). He considers himself the leading Vollmann scholar in the world. He also edited Conversations with Wim Wenders (Lexington Books). His first novel (or novella) was published in 1994 from Permeable Press, called The Naughty Yard, reprinted verbatim in The Mammoth Book of International Erotica (Carroll & Graf). “The irony of course,” says Hemmingson, “is that the small press edition sold maybe 1200 copies, whereas that anthology has sold half a million units.” Wearing the academic hat, as an independent scholar with no institutional ties but affiliations with Indiana University, San Diego State, and UCSD, Hemmingson has written the meditation, Gordon Lish and His Influence on Twentieth Century American Literature (Routledge), a short TV studies monograph on Star Trek (Wayne State University Press), and an ethnographic research project, Zona Norte (Cambridge Scholars). Wearing the screenwriter’s hat, his first indie feature, The Watermelon, was produced by LightSong Films and his currently making the film festival rounds. He has a couple of other film projects in the works, including the adaptation of his novel, The Dress, shot in New York. Wearing the journalist’s hat, he is a staff writer at The San Diego Reader. His stories and essays have been published in journals such as Fiction International, ZYZZYVA, Gargoyle, Hobart, Onthebus, Life Writing, Critique, and Creative Approaches to Research. From 1995-2000, he was Literary Manager of The Fritz Theater in San Diego, where he directed, produced, and wrote many plays there, as well as for his own company, The Alien Stage Project, that still produces theater in San Diego and Los Angeles. Hemmingson won the San Diego Book Awards’ first Novel-in-Progress grant for The Rose of Heaven and SDBA’s Best Published novel for Wild Turkey. Hemmingson resides somewhere in southern California with two cats, Worf and Poe.