William Lychack

William Lychack

Writer, Teacher

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We once found a gun in the woods...
— Cargill Falls
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In how it slows down the world, William Lychack’s Cargill Falls achieves something quite unexpected: this is a book that makes your heart drum loudly, that leaves you breathless under the tall canopy of a forest in Connecticut in the 1980s, that pulls you toward a single day’s burning, bright core. Not since William Maxwell’s So Long, See You Tomorrow has a novel captured so wondrously the landscape of youth, regret, mystery, and violence, and done it with such tenderness, humor, and raw, wild energy.
— Paul Yoon
Cargill Falls is an immediate classic. At once essential and profound and hugely entertaining, the story of the two boys at the heart of this book, and the men they become, follows in the tradition of great coming of age stories like Stand by Me, and then twists and reinvents and does the tradition better, upending all that we know and expect.
— Charles Bock
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Photo by Yan Naing Htun

William Lychack is the author, most recently, of the novel Cargill Falls. His work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, and on public radio’s This American Life, and his awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Sherwood Anderson Award, a Christopher Isherwood Foundation Award, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, and a Pittsburgh Foundation Grant. He currently teaches in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh and is the author of five previous books, including a novel, The Wasp Eater, a collection of stories, The Architect of Flowers, a cultural history of cement, and two children’s books.

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You could reach down into your throat and pull your heart out raw and warm and still-beating to show the world, but the world would probably just shrug like it was nothing. The world had its own problems. The world didn’t want your heart. It had more than enough hearts already.
— Cargill Falls
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Worse things would happen in our lives. We would think worse and say worse and do worse and be worse in months and years to come, but the pistol was
our first worst thing.
— Cargill Falls

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