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Donald Ray Pollock grew up in a town called Knockemstiff, Ohio. Now he's out with a debut collection of short stories called "Knockemstiff" that makes Lake Wobegon look like a candy-apple dream.

Here is a ragged, dark, downside vision of American small town life, where runaways and drunks set the tone and the smell through an open door, he writes, is "like a closet full of bad times."

Forget the apple pie. Pollock gives us snakebite and steroids and a sorrow to make Flannery O'Connor wince.

This hour, On Point: Dark and twisted with Donald Ray Pollock and "Knockemstiff."Guest:

Donald Ray Pollock, author of the debut short story collection, "Knockemstiff."

This program aired on May 15, 2008.

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