The New York Times Book Review called Kermit Moyer’s collection of stories, Tumbling, "impeccable", “a work of ringing authenticity” and welcomed him as “an impressive new voice.” Now, in The Chester Chronicles, Moyer again explores the rocky terrain of childhood and adolescence but this time from a single window: the perspective of Chester “Chet” Patterson, an “Army brat” who grows up in the 1950s and comes of age in the 1960s. Chester’s point of view is retrospective, but the immediacy of his present-tense narration puts us right there in the moment—even though “there” is constantly changing since Chester is always in transit, the perennial outsider, stuck with a name that feels like a running joke and plagued with Oedipal anxieties and existential doubt yet nonetheless convinced of his heroic destiny. Each chapter is a discrete story that chronicles a pivotal moment in Chester’s life, taking him a little deeper into himself as well as a little farther into the century. In 2011, The Chester Chronicles won the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award in fiction.
Like Chester, Kermit Moyer grew up an Army brat in the 1950s. He got his BA, his MA and his PhD in English from Northwestern University and in 1970 joined the faculty of American University in Washington, DC, where he taught literature and creative writing for the next 37 years. His short fiction has appeared in The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, The Sewanee Review, and The Hudson Review, and he is the author of Tumbling, a collection of stories published by the University of Illinois Press.
Email Kermit at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chronological Bibliography of Stories and Essays (with links to JSTOR)
“The Great Gatsby: Fitzgerald’s Meditation on American History,” Fitzgerald/Hemingway Annual 4 (1972); reprinted in Critical Essays on “The Great Gatsby,” edited by Scott Donaldson (G.K. Hall, 1984); also reprinted in Major Literary Characters (Chelsea House, 1992).
“You Ever See an Elephant Fly? Style and Substance in the Films of Robert Altman,” Film Heritage, 11, No. 1(Fall, 1975).
“What the Hell Is Altman Up to?” Washingtonian, 11, No. 12 (Sept. 1976.
“Tumbling” (story), The Hudson Review, 38, No. 4 (Fall, 1983); cited as a Distinguished Story in The Best American Short Stories of 1987, Houghton Mifflin; reprinted in Worlds of Fiction, eds. Charles Larson and Roberta Rubenstein, Macmillan, 1992; nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
“Life Jackets” (story), The Crescent Review, 4, No. 2 (Fall, 1986).
“Coming Unbalanced” (story), The Southern Review, 23, No. 3 (Summer, 1987).
“Lights on a Dark Road” (story), Northeast Corridor, 2, No. 1 (1995).
“The Sun So Hot I Froze to Death” (story), The Crescent Review, 16, No. 1 (1998)
“The Color of My Eyes” (story), The Hudson Review, 56, No. 4 (Winter, 2004).
“Me Tarzan” (memoir), in CRUSH: Writers Reflect on Love, Longing, and the Lasting Power of Their First Celebrity Crush, eds. Cathy Alter and Dave Singleton (HarperCollins, 2016).