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 SYNOPSIS: "Clouds Are the Mountains of the World is a suspenseful novel-in-stories set in a surreal, dystopian near-future. In beautifully written, spell-binding prose, it dramatizes the heroic quest of three women—mother, daughter, granddaughter—to reunite in a post-apocalyptic future filled with gun-toting bands of militias, corrupt police, crazy radio talk-show hosts, racism, and economic and political chaos. This is the story of their determination to survive with resilience, love, and stoic humor. Mixing terrifying suspense, riveting slice-of-life episodes, terrifying encounters, heart-warming scenes and splashes of dark humor, Davis narrates a gripping, powerful literary thriller about our human need to connect and endure."


Alan Davis's forthcoming novel-in-stories is "a compelling vision rendered in language, both surreal and chillingly familiar, that summons the apocalyptic dreams of Bruegel and Bosch." Lin Enger


Davis, who grew up in zydeco Louisiana, now lives in Dylanesque Minnesota.


He has published three prize-winning collections of short fiction (Rumors From the Lost World, Alone With the Owl, and So Bravely Vegetative) and co-edited Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan and 10 editions of American Fiction: The Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers. Professor emeritus at Minnesota State, he also taught at the University of North Carolina, Fairfield University's MFA Program and the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast MFA Program. He is the recipient of a Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction in Creative Prose, a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, a Fulbright to Slovenia, and a Fulbright-Hays Grant to Indonesia.



"Moving easily between blue-collar types and Social Register summer people, New Age dancers and Old World immigrants, underground poets and Elvis freaks, Davis demonstrates an impressive range in this collection." Kirkus Reviews


"Although these stories occur in many different parts of the country, they are aesthetically shaped by the landscape of Louisiana, the muddy delta, and the oily bayou - the bottomland to which all things flow." Debra Marquart


"I kept thinking that I wouldn't mind ending up as a character in one of his stories. Odds are, he'd do me justice." Dorothy Allison, The New York Times Book Review


"A magical collection of stories, one of the best I've encountered in years. It's hard to convey my enthusiasm for this book - all the ordinary adjectives of praise seem trite and inadequate. But as personal testimony, I can say that I was tremendously moved and enlightened by each story, and that the collection as a whole lingers in my memory like a hometown - a place I once lived in and once loved." Tim O'Brien


"He has an original talent, a feel for action, a sparse yet vivid style, a sharp satirical sense, a keen eye and ear for the follies of the age." Walker Percy

"There is magic in a world that still somehow seems devoid of magic." Publishers Weekly


Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan:


● "The poets included in this collection want no explanations from Dylan; they are busy, if anything, using him to explain themselves. These are the people who could hold entire conversations using only Dylan quotes and a few conjunctions. Some of them are people who first realized that the words count when they first listened to Dylan. That the way it's said is as important as what is said. They get it, and reading them makes me feel that I am in very congenial company." Chris Smither, from the Foreword

● "If Bob Dylan has so many sides as to be a house of mirrors, then here are a hundred poets caught in the glass. Some worshipful, others still obsessed, or nostalgic, imitative, even rapacious, but all gathered together around a singer who shuffled words and music together to form a whole new deck. Imagine, one poet within a circle of a hundred poets!" Billy Collins

● "In a pop culture of rapid, vertiginous change, when audiences are more fickle and ephemeral than any in history, Bob Dylan yet retains his stature and something of his original mystery." Joyce Carol Oates


American Fiction: The Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers:


Chosen twice by Writer's Digest as one of the top 15 places to publish fiction in the United States. Judges:Wallace Stegner, Antonya Nelson, Joyce Carol Oates, Tim O'Brien, Charles Baxter, Ann Beattie, Anne Tyler, and others.

● "The one anthology that deliberately and exclusively sets out to find the best unpublished stories by 'emerging' writers."  Tobias Wolff, judge

● "Truly, a breath of fresh air for us all, writers and readers alike." Raymond Carver, judge

● "A must-read collection for all short-fiction enthusiasts." Booklist


His stories and essays have appeared in The Sun, The Quarterly, The New York Times Book Review, The Hudson Review, The North Dakota Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Image, Kansas Quarterly, Denver Quarterly, Great River Review, Cream City Review, Chattahoochee Review, Consequence: A Literary Magazine Addressing War in the 21st Century, Facing the Change: Personal Encounters with Global Warming, Mental Shoes, and many others.


He has taught workshops and given readings at numerous universities, colleges, bookstores and other venues and led or co-led student study tours to Ireland, Great Britain, and western Europe. He also served as Editor of New Rivers Press, which was founded in 1968, from 2001–2016, when he retired.  For more about the  press, see The Ballad of New Rivers Press, Part One. 


You can read a story/chapter from Clouds Are the Mountains of the World here.


The first chapter of a novel-in-progress, The Theater of the Invisible Guests, can be found here.


You can follow him here on Facebook. He works as a mentor and editor with emerging writers and is available for interviews and to give readings and conduct workshops. Contact him for more information.