Scott McClanahan Revealed as Sham, Not Actually from Crapalachia

Scott McClanahan, with Matthew Savoca at Harry Houdini’s grave.

Scott McClanahan

I interviewed Scott McClanahan in a hotel room in Philadelphia immediately following a trip to the Mütter Museum, which was apparently a very unpleasant experience for him.

All questions pertaining to his new book, Crapalachia: A Biography of a Place (Two Dollar Radio, releases Mar. 19) are oblique in nature because you should probably just read it rather than listening to/reading questions and answers about it. I suggest you read Crapalachia without wondering what, in the book, is true or made up. We are all lied to so much in our lives that it’s all the same, anyway.

In this video segment, McClanahan drinks Coors Light, comes out as a crack-cocaine addict, reveals he drinks blood, and eats a shit-ton of mashed potatoes. He also finally admits that he’s not actually from West Virginia: the life he depicts in his books and readings is actually an elaborate ruse; his accent, a great scam.

This interview will blow the minds of any and all McClanahan fans.

But in all seriousness: Scott McClanahan is a complicated, bloody-hearted genius. Artistically, Crapalachia is a new way of looking at the thin line that divides fact from fiction, history from folklore. Stylistically, McClanahan has a voice and vision so gloriously beautiful and soul-smashingly painful that they could never be mistaken for anyone else’s. And like all of McClanahan’s writing, Crapalachia happens to be fucking hilarious.
But if this book doesn’t make you cry — well, I’m not sure you’re actually alive.

If you’re on the east coast, here are some opportunities to see Scott read. Maybe see for yourself what everyone has been going on about.

***

Scott McClanahan is the author of The Collected Stories, Crapalachia, Hill William, and Stories, Stories II, and Stories V!. He lives in Beckley, WV, and is one-half of Holler Presents.

— Juliet Escoria writes things. You can e-stalk her here.

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