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Winner of the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship For Writers
"Matthew Klam's Sam The Cat represents the appearance of a new voice in American short fiction of astonishing energy and vitality. From the instant first encounter, Klam's anguished, neurotic, and hysterically funny tales of young lust and ambition—especially pungent in their depiction of masculine sexual terror—make an indelible and unforgettable impression. Stories like "Issues I Dealt With in Therapy," "Not This," and the title story confess the paradoxes and contradictions of contemporary identity as few writers have dared in the last twenty years. At the same time, Klam's simple, unadorned prose accomplishes anew what writers like Lorrie Moore and Raymond Carver have attempted: Klam makes the colloquial language of the American tongue. The contemporary short story is better for his generosity and ambition."—From the PEN Citation
Knowing, perceptive, and wickedly funny, Matt Klam loves his characters but spares them nothing: the swaggering womanizer Sam falls in love with a woman across a crowded room who, upon closer inspection, turns out to be not quite what he expected; a self-doubting young professional attends the posh wedding of his successful friend and delivers a disastrous toast; the chicken one man’s girlfriend is preparing for dinner comes to embody the darkly corrosive element in their relationship. These seven stories crackle with humor, intelligence and style and add up to an outrageously funny, unforgettable debut.
“A riveting, honest and unvarnished voice that sounds like no one else’s.”–Los Angeles Times
“Repeatedly nails the fragile braggadocio of the modern American male.... Each story takes on a memorable life of its own, thanks to Klam’s...ability to find the perfect word or phrase.”–San Francisco Chronicle
“A knockout. [Klam] seems to have tapped right into the heads of certain men, none of whom you want courting your daughter.”–Portland Oregonian