A provocative and raw debut collection of short fiction reminiscent of Junot Diaz’s Drown.
A Black man’s life, told in scenes—through every time he’s been called nigger. A Black son who visits his estranged white father in Los Angeles just as the ’92 riots begin. A Black Republican, coping with a skin disease that has turned him white, is forced to reconsider his life. A young Black man, fetishized by an older white woman he’s just met, is offered a strange and tempting proposal.
The nine tales in Give My Love to the Savages illuminate the multifaceted Black experience, exploring the thorny intersections of race, identity, and Black life through an extraordinary cast of characters. From the absurd to the starkly realistic, these stories take aim at the ironies and contradictions of the American racial experience. Chris Stuck traverses the dividing lines, and attempts to create meaning from them in unique and unusual ways. Each story considers a marker of our current culture, from uprisings and sly and not-so-sly racism, to Black fetishization and conservatism, to the obstacles placed in front of Black masculinity and Black and interracial relationships by society and circumstance.
Setting these stories across America, from Los Angeles, Phoenix and the Pacific Northwest, to New York and Washington, DC, to the suburbs and small Midwestern towns, Stuck uses place to expose the absurdity of race and the odd ways that Black people and white people converge and retreat, rub against and bump into one another.
Ultimately, Give My Love to the Savages is the story of America. With biting humor and careful honesty, Stuck riffs on the dichotomy of love and barbarity—the yin and yang of racial experience—and the difficult and uncertain terrain Black Americans must navigate in pursuit of their desires.
About the Author
Chris Stuck is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He earned an MFA in Fiction from George Mason University, and has been a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the Callaloo Writer’s Workshop, and the Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship. He is a Pushcart Prize winner, and his work has been published in American Literary Review, Bennington Review, Cagibi, Callaloo, Meridian, and Natural Bridge.
"You're going to laugh, you're going to gasp, you're going to wonder if you're allowed to enjoy this book and then you're going to be laughing all over again. This is Black satire with bite, like Zora Neale Hurston used to do, with a smile and a sharp elbow. A touch of Paul Beatty, a dose of Dolemite, and a serving of Dorothy Parker, too. Give My Love to the Savages announces Chris Stuck as a fearless talent, a debut that'll make your sides and your heart hurt."
— Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling
“With these sharp and searching stories about black people adrift in America, Chris Stuck makes invisible men feel seen. In this great book, I saw myself through many lenses.”
— Chris L. Terry, author of the novels Black Card and Zero Fade
“Give My Love To The Savages is a wildly inventive collection of provocative stories about navigating the minefield of black masculinity in America. Stuck’s fresh and fearless perspective overturns assumptions about race and identity to reveal complex layers of absurdity. At times merciless, always darkly funny, these are stories of unexpected communion, connection, and compassion.”
— Chanelle Benz, author of The Gone Dead
“Stuck brings uncompromising humor and judicious characterizations, offering piercing insights on the complexity of his characters’ experiences. The author’s perfect balance of absurdism and realism makes these stories shine.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Stuck’s debut collection, “Give My Love to the Savages,” is both hilarious and harrowing. This is a collection full of movement, of intelligent people traveling to new places or returning to old ones, leading to discoveries about themselves, about family and about the places they call home. Chris Stuck is a writer who has spent much time pondering the human condition, and we are the beneficiaries of his labor.”
— New York Times
"Stuck presents us with a strong, focused debut collection. He creates nuanced characters, crafts varied perspectives on race and gender in America, and shows off his talent for economy of words and sharp dialogue throughout the book."
— Chicago Review of Books
“Stuck is unafraid to tackle and illuminate the absurdities that accompany how we perceive and react to race.”
— TIME Magazine
“At once absurd and shot through with startling reality, Chris Stuck’s Give My Love to the Savages will rattle around in your head and your heart long after you finish reading it.”
“Chris Stuck's short-story collection comes together as a harrowing portrait of race relations in America, as beautiful as it is urgent.”
— Entertainment Weekly