Sean Carswell is the author of the eight books (Drinks for the Little Guy, Glue and Ink Rebellion, Barney’s Crew, Train Wreck Girl, Madhouse Fog and The Metaphysical Ukulele, Occupy Pynchon, and Dead Extra). He co-founded the independent book publisher Gorsky Press and the music magazine Razorcake. His writing has appeared in such diverse places as the skateboarding magazine Thrasher, tiny ‘zines like Zisk, prestigious literary journals like The Southeastern Review and The Rattling Wall, and peer-reviewed journals like Critical Sociology and The Journal of American Culture. He is an associate professor of writing and literature at California State University Channel Islands.
Sean Carswell is the author of eight books (four novels, three short story collections, and an academic monograph on Thomas Pynchon’s politics). He is also a co-founder of the independent book publisher Gorsky Press and the nation’s largest not-for-profit magazine dedicated to independent music and culture, Razorcake.
His first novel, Drinks for the Little Guy, was the first novel published by Gorsky. The success of that novel launched the press. Gorsky has since published twenty-four books, two of which were his short story collections Glue and Ink Rebellion and Barney’s Crew. Howard Zinn called Carswell “a wonderful storyteller” and compared one of those collections favorably to the works of Ernest Hemingway and Nelson Algren. Joe Meno declared the other to be “the antidote to what is so boring or safe or wrong with modern book publishing.”
Even though he’s one of the founders of Gorsky and his books in no small way contribute to the financial stability of the press, he jumped ship in 2008 when Manic D Press offered to publish his second novel, Train Wreck Girl. Train Wreck Girl went on to be come a minor critical and commercial success. He followed it up with the novel, Madhouse Fog, which was published in June 2013 by Manic D.
His most recent collection of short stories is about his favorite authors and their ukuleles. It’s called The Metaphysical Ukulele. It was published by Ig Publishing in 2016.
His most recent novel is Dead Extra, a crime novel set in 1940s Los Angeles.
Beyond books, Carswell spent fifteen years writing a bi-monthly column for Razorcake entitled “A Monkey to Ride the Dog.” In the late nineties, he did interviews and record reviews for Flipside Magazine. Around the turn of the millennium, he wrote a column for Ink 19 and was a regular contributor to Clamor Magazine. His work has appeared in several other magazines spanning from big skateboard magazines like Thrasher to tiny baseball ‘zines like Zisk. He has also published dozens of stories in literary journals. Recent short stories have run in The Rattling Wall, The Southeastern Review, Pheobe, Rip Rap, Pank, and Talking River. He is also a scholar of Thomas Pynchon. His work on Pynchon’s politics has appeared in Orbit: Writing Around Pynchon, The Journal of American Culture, Textual Practice, and the monograph Occupy Pynchon: Politics after Gravity’s Rainbow.
He is currently an associate professor of writing and literature at California State University Channel Islands.
Speaking of new pictures, my boyfriend and I are travelling through California this summer, getting out of NYC, and would love to take some new pictures of you. You are his absolute favorite author, and he has made me a fan of your work too! We’ll be in town in late July, and would love to set something up if possible. Please check out Ben’s work, linked below.
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