Craig Clevenger

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Craig Clevenger
Born 1964
Dallas, Texas
Occupation novelist
Nationality  United States
Period 2002–present
Genre Transgressional fiction, neo-noir
Notable works The Contortionist's Handbook, Dermaphoria

Craig Clevenger is an American author of contemporary fiction. Born 1964 in Dallas, Texas, he grew up in Southern California where he studied English at California State University, Long Beach. He is the author of two novels, The Contortionist's Handbook and Dermaphoria, both released by MacAdam/Cage. His work has been classified by some as neo-noir and has received praise from such authors as Chuck Palahniuk and Irvine Welsh.

Clevenger lists among his influences Jim Thompson, James M. Cain, Edgar Allan Poe, Richard Matheson, Italo Calvino, Kōbō Abe, Steve Erickson, Mark Danielewski, Will Christopher Baer, Seth Morgan, James Ellroy, Michael Hogan, John O'Brien, Michael Ventura and Rupert Thomson.

Having recently left San Francisco, Clevenger has completed work on a third novel, Mother Howl, based on his short story The Fade.

He shares a fan base with fellow authors Will Christopher Baer and Stephen Graham Jones.


The Contortionist's Handbook[edit]

Clevenger's debut novel, The Contortionist's Handbook, was first published in 2002. It is the story of John Dolan Vincent, a prodigious forger who has been detained for a psychiatric interview following a near-fatal painkiller overdose. As the narrator bluffs his way through the interview in order to avoid being involuntarily institutionalized, he tells the reader his true story - the one he is not telling the psychiatrist - revealing both his past and the true nature of his circumstances. The Contortionist's Handbook has since been translated into five languages - German, Italian, Polish, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese - as well as published in the United Kingdom by HarperCollins. Several other translations are forthcoming, including Russian and Japanese. Film rights for The Contortionist's Handbook were optioned in 2007 by Greenestreet Films. Miguel Sapochnik has been linked as director and Channing Tatum as producer and star.


In 2005, MacAdam/Cage released Clevenger's second novel, Dermaphoria, the diary of an amnesiac LSD chemist who becomes addicted to a drug which synthesizes the feeling of human touch. The film adaptation will be released in 2014.[needs update] Shot in New Orleans it stars Joseph Morgan, Ron Perlman, Walton Goggins and Kate Walsh.




"The Contortionist's Handbook"[edit]


Short Fiction[edit]

  • "The Fade" on (2005)
  • "The Numbers Game" in San Francisco Noir 2 (2009)
  • "Mother Howl" on (2009)
  • "Subcarrier" on (2009)
  • "Mercury" in Sensitive Skin issue 3 (2010)
  • "Act of Contrition" in Warmed and Bound (2011)
  • "Obsolescence" in In Search of a City: Los Angeles in 1,000 Words (2011)
  • "Drunk & DC" in Barrelhouse magazine issue 10 (2012)
  • "Chicken Wire" in Black Clock n°16 (2013)
  • "The Confession of Adelai Shade" in The Booked. Anthology (2013)
  • "Vapor Trail" in The Sunday Rumpus (2014)


External links[edit]

Official sites[edit]