Scott Kaukonen is the author of Ordination, winner of the Ohio State University Prize for Short Fiction. His fiction has appeared in the Printers Row Journal, the Cincinnati Review, Pleiades, Normal School, Barrelhouse, Third Coast, and elsewhere. He’s a previous recipient of an NEA Fellowship and the Nelson Algren Prize from the Chicago Tribune. He’s an associate professor of English at Sam Houston State University where he directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing. He lives in Huntsville, Texas, with his wife and son.
Statement: “The Physics of a Bomb” is a brief excerpt from a much larger work of fiction, The Martyrdom of Katie Deeds. The novel explores the aftermath of an act of violence (the bombing of a bus in Tiberias, Israel, in 1979), and the attempts of various characters to grant meaning and purpose not only to the death of the title character, a sixteen-year-old Baptist preacher’s daughter, but to their own lives, which intersect, in ways great and small, real and imagined, public and private, with the life of Katie Deeds. Previous excerpts have appeared in the Cincinnati Review and Pleiades.