M. Allen Cunningham


M. Allen Cunningham is the author of the novel The Green Age of Asher Witherow (a #1 IndieNext Pick), the novel Lost Son (about the life and work of the poet Rilke), the illustrated limited-edition story collection Date of Disappearance, and two volumes of nonfiction, The Honorable Obscurity Handbook and The Flickering Page: The Reading Experience in Digital Times. His stories and essays have appeared in many publications including The Kenyon Review, Tin House, Glimmer Train, Poets & Writers Magazine, The Oregonian, and the New York Times. His short fiction has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and three of his stories were featured in live performance by the New Short Fiction Series of Beverly Hills. Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler calls Cunningham “a lushly talented young writer,” ForeWord Magazine has named him “one of America’s most promising voices,” and he was cited in the Dzanc Books list of 20 Writers to Watch. The recipient of fellowships from the Oregon Arts Commission, Literary Arts, and Yaddo, Cunningham lives in Portland, Oregon, where he writes occasional book reviews and cultural commentary, leads public discussions for the Oregon Humanities council, and is at work on two new books. Visit www.mallencunningham.com

Smashwords Interview

What is your writing process?
Agonize, agonize, sit down at the desk, agonize further, write (longhand first; keyboards later!), agonize, repeat. It's extremely rewarding work, though seldom purely enjoyable.
Who are your favorite authors?
James Baldwin, Joseph Brodsky, John Berger, Frederick Busch, Harriet Scott Chessman, Don DeLillo, Annie Dillard, Brian Hall, Sarah Hall, Thomas Hardy, Vaclav Havel, Hermann Hesse, Henry James, Thomas Mann, David Markson, Cormac McCarthy, Bruce Olds, Michael Ondaatje, Cynthia Ozick, Jayne Anne Phillips, Annie Proulx, Mary Ruefle, Rainer Maria Rilke, Susan Sontag, John Steinbeck, Wallace Stegner, Henry David Thoreau, John Updike, Patrick White, Thornton Wilder.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find M. Allen Cunningham online


The Giant's Face, A Short Story
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,590. Language: English. Published: June 13, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Only when you’re young and small do you fully understand the bigness of things. Originally published in Boulevard Magazine, “The Giant’s Face" is a 1,300-word short story by M. Allen Cunningham, author of the novel The Green Age of Asher Witherow, the novel Lost Son, and the illustrated limited-edition story collection Date of Disappearance.
The Caretaker's Gleanings: An Essay
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,240. Language: English. Published: June 12, 2014 . Categories: Essay » Literature
Culled from notes kept during one strange autumn and winter in which M. Allen Cunningham resided in a barn, "The Caretaker's Gleanings" ruminates on the nocturnal mysteries of a creaturely life.
The Man in the Blue Coat: A Chamber Picture in Six Acts, A Short Story
Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 4,080. Language: English. Published: June 6, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Surreal and whimsical, "The Man in the Blue Coat" is a 4,100-word story about the inner life and the seemingly infinite distances between ourselves and others.
Chimera: A Short Story
Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 7,510. Language: English. Published: June 5, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
"Chimera" is a 7,500-word short story about the human capacity for failure and faith.
Prose Conjuration: The Art of Reading Cormac McCarthy
Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 2,640. Language: English. Published: June 4, 2014 . Categories: Essay » Literature
In this 2,700-word essay, first published in Poets & Writers Magazine in 2007, avid McCarthy fan M. Allen Cunningham considers the author's entire corpus and the trajectory of his reputation.