A yacht races to outrun a tsunami. A young man jailed on a drug charge forms a relationship with his cellmate that is by turns tender and brutal. A family buys a rural slaughterhouse, and tensions with their religious neighbors quickly escalate. A teen raised by his eccentric gay father, a Turkish immigrant, finds his life fractured by violence. A fictionalized Coretta Scott King, surveilled and harassed by the FBI, considers the costs of her life with her husband.
Here Is What You Do is a bravura, far-ranging collection, its stories linked by sorrow and latent hope, each one drilling toward its characters’ darkest emotional centers. In muscularly robust prose, with an unfailing eye for human drives and frailties, Chris Dennis captures the raw need, desire, cruelty, and promise that animate our lives.
Chris Dennis holds an MFA in Fiction from Washington University in St. Louis, where he also received a postgraduate fellowship. His work has appeared in Granta, West Branch, and New Stories from the Midwest.
A debut short story collection that explores the vulnerability, grit, and complex nature of our humanity from a new, vital queer voice.