From literary New South yarn to end-of-days dirge, buoyant realism and slapstick satire, the tapestry of style and genre in Triumph of the Ape's 14 collected short stories screams with themes of American folly. Written over the first decade of the 21st century, the stories reach back into the past of the author's native South Carolina -- and forward into a grim future where love nonetheless remains humanity's best hope.
Todd Dills is also the author of a novel, Sons of the Rapture (Featherproof Books 2006), and editor of two collections -- All Hands On (2004 and 2011) -- published in conjunction with the literary broadsheet he founded in Chicago in the year 2000, THE2NDHAND. Today, he lives and writes in Nashville, Tenn.
Advance praise for Triumph of the Ape:
A tremendous collection! Triumph of the Ape outlines the highs and lows of comically self-conscious young men bumming around the free, modern world, armed only with mind, heart and humor. These stories are bursting with warmth and smart lovin’. Reading Todd Dills makes life -– all of it –- feel a little bit kinder. –Patrick Somerville, author of The Cradle
Triumph is dauntless, daring in its variety of tones and styles, a kind of taunt to the new century and all its ongoing crises. There’s the spirited, Southern slant of the Barry-Hannah-esque “Color of Magic” and “Confederate Yankee...,” and elsewhere, the author’s ongoing interest in forms, especially the itinerary, shifts toward the collection’s centerpiece, an imagining of the development of a underground literary movement around a “Stupidist Manifesto.” Realism, noir, short short -– from lascivious to hilarious –- the range of styles culminates with one-part music essay, one-part end-of-days fabulism, in the closing sound track to the coming Rapture. Again and again, there’s invention, Dills’ inexhaustible gift for language and tireless imagination. –Joe Meno, author of The Great Perhaps, Hairstyles of the Damned
Every story in Triumph of the Ape reveals characters “united in stupidity, not necessarily dumb or incapable of love but senseless with self-love,” typical of Dills’ weirdly entertaining Faulkner-in-the-city touches. Perhaps no other working writer has so benefited from living in two very distinct environments, first the South, then years in Chicago, then back to the South, with countless time spent on the road to here, there and everywhere. Dills deals in lore for apes triumphant in the downfall. He once again proves himself a master of tradition gone haywire in a country addicted to its own mythology, supplying the antidote with his 21st-century folklore. –Paul A. Toth, author of Airplane Novel
- Todd Dills, June 2012
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