Teaching Notes for This Was the Decade I Kept Getting Stabbed
Use in the classroom to discuss: the formation and organization of a story collection; first-person narrative strategies; characters who are unrealistic/surreal yet believable/knowable; uncanny characters in everyday environments; trickster figures; deer; humor; interpersonal orbits; marriages (ended or ending); religious institutions; babies; mixed drinks; cocaine; cash flow; public and private artworks; knives; pretense; games; voice; vivid worlds viewed through a very strange lens; sportsmen; animal attacks; animal-related theft; bicycles.
Pairs well with Men You Don’t Know You Know; Weird Weeks; and Suburban Folktales.
This Was The Decade I Kept Getting Stabbed By John Jodzio
There is no loss worse—or more laughable—than your own. Both absurd and upfront, John Jodzio’s This Was the Decade I Kept Getting Stabbed measures out the means by which you will be swindled and suckered. In these thirteen tales, deer attempt to destroy city council candidates, youth groups bet on a gospel promise of cornhole retribution, and beloved bears swipe bicycles out from under their riders. Your comeuppance is coming, whether you want it or not. Is there any escape? Perhaps. Look right into life’s creepy eyes, remember your favorite pet’s positive life lessons, and think: I like you, I like you.
John Jodzio's work has been featured in a variety of places including This American Life, McSweeney's, and New York Magazine. He's the author of the short story collections, Knockout, Get In If You Want To Live, and If You Lived Here You’d Already Be Home. He lives in Minneapolis.