Coake, Christopher

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Coake, Christopher

PERSONAL: Born in IN; married Stephanie Lauer. Education: Ball State University, B.S.; Miami University (OH), M.A.; Ohio State University, M.F.A.

ADDRESSES: Home—Reno, NV. Office—Department of English, University of Nevada at Reno, Reno, NV 89557. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Writer and educator. University of Nevada, Reno, English department, assistant professor, 2005–.


We're in Trouble: Stories, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2005.

Contributor of stories to magazines, including Gettysburg Review, and to anthologies, including Best American Mystery Stories 2004, edited by Otto Penzler and Nelson DeMille, Houghton Mifflin, 2004.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Several novellas; a novel about a Colorado mining town; editing an anthology of stories relating to cancer.

SIDELIGHTS: Christopher Coake's 2005 debut collection, We're in Trouble: Stories, garnered the attention of numerous foreign publishers, making Coake, in the words of Sean Murphy, writing for the Algonkian Writer Workshops Web site, "a writer to watch out for."

Adam B. Vary, writing for Entertainment Weekly, stated that the theme central to Coake's initial collection is "love in the face of harrowing death," a theme which, according to Vary, the author tackles in a "wildly engaging" manner. Coake's story "All through the House," included in We're in Trouble, was also anthologized in the Best American Mystery Stories 2004. The story centers around a sheriff who has the task of investigating the murder of a local Indiana family. While being interviewed by a true-crime writer about the murders, the sheriff—a childhood friend of the killer, who later committed suicide—is reluctant to give all the details of the tragedy. Other tales in the collection include "In the Event," in which a man discovers that he must raise his godchild after the death of the child's parents, and "Cross-Country," about a road trip a man takes with his young child after being separated from his wife. Joanne Wilkinson, a reviewer for Booklist, stated that Coake's characters undergo transformations and the "painful truths they learn about themselves can be discomforting." Writing for Library Journal, Christopher Korenowsky concluded that the book contains "gripping reading from a talented newcomer." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called We're in Trouble a "striking debut collection," and praised Coake's "unadorned but dramatic, economical prose."



Booklist, February 1, 2005, Joanne Wilkinson, review of We're in Trouble: Stories, p. 938.

Entertainment Weekly, April 15, 2005, Adam B. Vary, review of We're in Trouble, p. 89.

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2005, review of We're in Trouble, p. 67.

Library Journal, February 15, 2005, Christopher Korenowsky, review of We're in Trouble, p. 122.

Publishers Weekly, February 28, 2005, review of We're in Trouble, p. 42.


Algonkian Writer Workshop Web site, (June 25, 2005), Sean Murphy, "An Interview with Christopher Coake."

Christopher Coake Home Page, (June 25, 2005).

Christopher Coake Web log, (June 25, 2005).

Kacey Kowars Radio Show Web site, (April 13, 2005), brief profile of author.