Clifford’s debut short story collection Choice Cuts mines the fractured territory of the marginalized, misanthropic, and short-changed. From morally bereft television producers desperate for a hit, to veterans suffering psychotic splits, Clifford delves into the madness and desperation that plague those living on the edge, while never surrendering the search for the light that guides us all. In these fast-paced, hard-hitting tales of ne’er-do-wells, addicts, and gangsters, two predominant themes emerge throughout the collection: human life frequently reduced to little more than pieces of meat, and the bad choices we often make to escape that fate, however good our intentions.
Echoing the pulp past of Thompson and Keene, with the sardonic worldview of Caulfield and Durden, Clifford’s style is lean, mean, and unforgiving.
Joe Clifford is the producer of Lip Service West, a “gritty, real, raw” reading series in Oakland, CA. His work has appeared in Big Bridge, the Bryant Review, the Connecticut Review, Drunken Boat, Fringe, Opium, and Word Riot, among others. Joe’s writing can be found at http://www.joeclifford.com. His novel Wake the Undertaker will be out later in the year.