Sean Carswell (born 1970) is an American writer and publisher. He is the author of the novels Train Wreck Girl, Drinks for the Little Guy and the collections Glue and Ink Rebellion and Barney's Crew. He is co-editor, along with his wife Felizon Vidad and Todd Taylor, of Gorsky Press, an independent press operating out of Los Angeles, California. He also serves as a contributing editor for Razorcake Magazine.
Carswell's writing frequently reflects the concerns of the working class. His characters are often laborers. In the case of Drinks for the Little Guy, his protagonist, Chris Dunbar, is a carpenter, a job Carswell himself has had. Carswell writes of the working class without either dehumanizing or romanticizing them. His characters resist easy categorization because of their depth and complexity: one moment they are typical brawling drunks, and the next they ponder philosophically the dangers of gentrification and coastal development in small-town Florida.
Carswell's characters have few natural advantages in life. They work hard for little gain, but find release and freedom in music, surfing, skateboarding, and drinking. They are self-aware but never whiny or pretentious.
Despite working without the advantages of a large publishing house, Carswell has become something of a cult favorite in the American underground. His books routinely sell out their first printing, and he is a popular live performer, bringing a punk-rock ethic to the traditionally staid literary reading. He travels extensively, giving readings not just on college campuses and chain bookstores, but at punk shows and in bars.
As an editor, Carswell and the team at Gorsky Press have published the work of underground favorites such as Patricia Geary, Jim Munroe, and Rich Mackin. The Gorsky Press collection Punch & Pie includes work from writers such as Ayn Imperato and Wred Fright.
Carswell currently also works as a lecturer in English at California State University, Channel Islands in Camarillo, California.
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