The man from Knockemstiff writes what he knowsby Euan Kerr, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Author Donald Ray Pollock grew up in southern Ohio, in a place that really is called Knockemstiff.
"Knockemstiff is a slang word for moonshine, or it was back in the '20s and the '30s, and there were a few moonshiners around there," said Pollock. "So I figure that's how it ended up with such a colorful name."
Pollock published a short story collection in 2008 which was named for his hometown, to great acclaim. The Wall Street Journal called him "the next important voice in American fiction."
Now Pollock has a novel set in the same place. It's called "The Devil All the Time."
Pollock describes the story as gritty. Some might use other words. It involves serial killers, religious zealots, crooked law enforcement, and a host of other bad elements. Pollock told MPR's Euan Kerr he just wrote about what he knew from his youth.