‘August’ by Callan Wink: The Struggle of Youth

by Jesse Bedayn

August (304 pages; Random House), Callan Wink’s first novel and second book following his story collection, Dog Run Moon, opens on a collection of cat tails chopped from tabby corpses in a Michigan barn. The 12-year-old boy responsible for this violence, the titular August, is paid per tail, proof he’s killed a feral cat. And so Wink launches us into a turbulent coming-of-age story punctuated by donuts performed drunk outside a Hutterite colony and the pregnant pauses on the phone between the protagonist and his emotionally distant father. While August’s inner turmoil is often opaque, the novel offers an uncannily sympathetic […]

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