The 2018 winner of the Kenneth Patchen Award for the Innovative Novel is Patrick Keller, of Long Beach, California, for his novel Those Brave As the Skate Is.
The contest judge, the late novelist and great friend of JEF Books Jønathan Lyons, said the following in his encomium for the novel:
“This is a visionary work, one that challenges form and content, destroying both to recreate them in its own vision. Patrick Keller’s breadth of vision is simply astonishing.”
About the Author
Patrick Keller grew up in Claremont, California. At UC Berkeley, he chose Psychology as a second major to accompany English, mistakenly assuming that it would be the secret weapon for writing novels. At UC Irvine, his grad school mentor gave him a Steve Katz book as a curio, mistakenly assuming that he wouldn’t scrap his previous research plans and write his dissertation on this type of freewheeling mixture of autobiography and fiction. In 2010, after reading too many books and interviews with Raymond Federman and Ronald Sukenick, he created Pescetarealism, an attempt to extend their egalitarian ideals to something more about persistence than performance. He received his Ph.D in English for “Subversively Personal: Surfiction As Communication in Vietnam War Era America” in 2011. His scholarly article “Contemporary Surfiction: Wideman, Kaufman, and Maddin” appeared in the June 2014 issue of Word and Text. He teaches in Orange County and lives with his wife in Long Beach, California.