Open Prose Selection: Toughlahoma by Christian TeBordo

Open Prose Series

This January submissions for the second year of the Open Prose Series arrived in force, and for three months we reveled in prose. Today we’re thrilled to announce our 2015 selection, and we’re especially thrilled to publish a book as inventive, incisive, and absolutely unsettling as Christian TeBordo’s Toughlahoma.
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.
Beyond a doubt, this novel will make its mark in 2015.

Christian TeBordo is the author of four previous books, most recently a collection of short fiction called The Awful Possibilities. He lives with his family in Chicago, where he is director of the M.F.A. Program and assistant professor of English at Roosevelt University. 
Thank you to all those who shared their manuscripts with us this winter—it continues to be an honor to read your prose.

Hilary Plum and Zach Savich
Editors, Open Prose Series