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07/15/2015

Professor Gives the Working Class 'A Voice' in New Award-Winning Book

Quick Facts

 "One Hundred-Knuckled Fist" tells the stories of the working class, including hardscrapers, carpenters, snakes salesmen and others.
 The University of Nebraska Press will publish the book. It's set for a September 2016 release.

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ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - Winthrop University Assistant Professor of English Dustin M. Hoffman had a goal in mind when he wrote his short-story collection "One Hundred Knuckled-Fist:" to give the working class a voice.

"That's what I've aimed to do with this collection-allow these people who often sweat and bleed behind the scenes invisibly to come out into the open to share their struggles, as well as their surprising wisdom," he said.

His collection has just captured him the 2015 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Chosen by guest judges from more than 1,200 submissions worldwide, "One Hundred-Knuckled Fist" tells the story of characters at work.

"These stories take place on the job, in blue-collar settings," Hoffman said. "They're about house painters, roofers, hardscapers, carpenters. They're about Jamaican tour guides, snake salesmen, Air Force firemen, can pickers, ice cream truck drivers."

As part of his prize, the University of Nebraska Press will publish "One Hundred-Knuckled Fist." Though it's the first book for Hoffman, he's been publishing stories for many years in Bat City Review, Midwestern Gothic, Cimarron Review, Smokelong Quarterly and others.

Hoffman said this book "means everything" to him.

"I love this genre, but many say the short story is declining in popularity," he said. "This is certainly not the case with so many great short-story writers at work today and getting recognition: George Saunders, Karen Russell, Alice Munro, Phil Klay and so many others.

However, book publication can be difficult for an emerging short-story writer like me. Winning this award is another affirmation that short stories deserve to be read."

"One Hundred Knuckled-Fist" is scheduled for publication in September 2016. Some of Hoffman's published work can be read on his website.

Hoffman holds a Ph.D. in English with a creative writing emphasis in fiction from Western Michigan University. He joined Winthrop in 2014.

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