susan taylor chehak

Publications

Short Stories
Available now in Moon City Review
Read it online in Limestone
"The turns these stories take, structurally and emotionally, prove that Chehak is not only a daring literary artisan, but a connoisseur of human frailty. An acerbic, stirring collection from a master of the craft." -Kirkus Reviews
Read the whole story online, at Blue Lake Review.
Online at Conte
Included in a new anthology from SeedpodPress
Read it in the Winter 2013 issue of Permafrost
read it in the summer 2013 issue of Grey Sparrow Journal
Now available at Amarillo Bay
Now available at Necessary Fiction: Part One and Part Two
Now available at Juked
read it in the Spring 2012 issue of Folio by subscribing HERE
available online at Folly
read it in the Spring 2011 issue of Coe Review by subscribing HERE or read it online HERE
read it on your Kindle, or your Kindle App
Interviews
The novelist on what atheists and true believers have in common and how Mark Twain, Henry James, and “Sigmund-fucking-Freud” lack imagination. Read the whole interview at Guernica
Fiction
Told through alternating narratives—a portrayal of the last few days of Meena's life and an account of the events in the past that have brought her to where she is now—this is the story of a woman running away from home for the first time and the strong, nearly universal desire to shed one's identity to become somebody else.
“[Chehak's] ambitiously imaginative novel questions the very nature of reality… [a] diverting exploration of metaphysical concepts. Winsome and smartly playful.” —Kirkus Reviews
"Chehak's prose provides a seamless, calm flow to a novel whose elements of love and murder ripple enticingly, fully surfacing only gently, only eventually, in the most satisfying kind of storytelling." -Booklist
"Haunting . . . Clodine Wheeler is the bemused narrator who strings together brilliant beads of descriptive phrases as she sorts through her memories . . . Chehak skillfully depicts small-town meanness and ironic generosity . . . . Her mesmerizing tale has classic resonances." – Publishers Weekly
"A dark tale of obsession among the posh ranks of a midwestern town... Chehak's poetic style exposes the passionate longings beneath the mannered sterling-and-crystal patina of Cedar Hill life; she renders both violence and love with an unflinching eye and casts a mournful spell." -Vogue
"Chehak is a very accomplished storyteller, always in control of her narrative, which moves ahead with grace and speed. But it's not only the plot that matters to this writer. It's the telling little details, particularly of teenage angst and of domestic life that makes the novel rich... SMITHEREENS is a novel fully worthy of the title thriller. It's hard to put down. It has a kind of dark allure." - The Los Angeles Times
“In Susan Taylor Chehak’s skilled hands, Iowa becomes the seething, steamy setting for a tale of pure evil… This is a marvelous, creepy story.” -The Kansas City Star

The Beginning of the End of All That

I will say nothing about what I know. When John comes in, emanating winter in his wool coat and his scarf and his cheeks rosy, his nose bright, his eyes, as always, like ice. If I didn’t know it yesterday, then I will still not know it today. By the time I see my husband again, I’ll have already put it all out of my mind. And he can continue to rest assured.

What I know is what I’ve always known. What I don’t know is, who sent the note. There was no postage, so I have to assume that it was hand delivered. Someone walked it to the box. Or drove it there. We can’t see the road from the house, because the driveway is almost a quarter mile long, and when we bought this house all those years ago, one of the things I loved about it most was exactly that, our remove. Then, there was a white fence—now that’s gone—and, for me, an attraction to, a sense of fortitude in, the idea of that daily half-mile walk to pick up the mail. Also gone. Or in sending the children for it, later, when there were children. There were none. With the dogs alongside, romping. Chasing each other. Chasing a tossed ball. Yes, over the years, there has always been a dog...

Read the rest in The Adirondack Review