Christian TeBordo is the author of four previous books, most recently a collection of short fiction called The Awful Possibilities. His first novel, The Conviction and the Subsequent Life of Savior Neck was published by Spuyten Duyvil in 2005. He lives with his family in Chicago, where he is director of the MFA Program and assistant professor of English at Roosevelt University.
Do we call Toughlahoma the satire we all deserve, a monstrously true fable of the late days of capitalism? We could say, for instance, that Toughlahoma crosses Vico's early sociological theories with Hobbes's and Locke's conflicting notions of the state of nature to tell the story of one civilization's failed attempts to become civilized. Or we could say that Toughlahoma is simply a first account of the Toughlahomans and what they did and do: Jesus went to the End and back before inventing Uglahoma. Ishmael kicked ass and said taglines all over Roughlahoma. Good Dad mostly stayed put. The rest of them hang around the Community Center chewing their Necro Wafers and just being themselves—bicepsual, troublesexual, and martially artistic—in case they ever get to have a war. Let's call Toughlahoma a history, a scripture, a goddamn dithyramb, and a public relations campaign all in one.