Elwood Reid Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Elwood Reid’s 1998 first novel, If I Don’t Six, won critical acclaim with its roughly autobiographical tale of a university football player’s ultimate rejection of the culture of violence and abuse surrounding the game. His second novel, Midnight Sun, was published in 2000.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Elwood Reid has been hailed as a major new voice, telling stories of the world of blue-collar men. Delighted critics have compared his short stories to those of Raymond Carver.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Reid, Elwood. “My Body, My Weapon, My Shame.” Gentleman’s Quarterly 67 (September, 1997): 360-367. Reid tells of the brutality he encountered as college football player for the University of Michigan and how his injury forced him to rethink his life. Written for the magazine that in February, 1997, published his first short story “What Salmon Knew” and for which Reid has continued to write short stories and nonfiction articles, this piece offers a valuable background on the life of the author. The reader realizes that Reid has worked in many of the same jobs as his characters. Reid adds that his manual labor was motivated by his desire to extinguish the image of himself as a failed athlete and that he considered himself an oddity of a football player because he loved to read literature.

Rubin, Neal. “Harsh Portrait of Schembechler Is Latest Move in Former U-M Lineman’s Literary Career.” Detroit Free Press (September 26, 1999). Extensive biographical portrait of Reid by a reporter on the occasion of Reid’s negative article about his former coach in the September, 1997, issue of Gentleman’s Quarterly. Talks about Reid’s life, his sports career, and his emergence as a writer of short fiction and novels. Informative background on the author; shows how closely Reid is to the subject matter of his stories and how much emphasis he places on rewriting his work until it satisfies him.

Rungren, Lawrence. “What Salmon Know.” Review of What Salmon Know, by Elwood Reid. Library Journal 124 (July, 1999): 139. Brief review of Reid’s first short-story collection, generally positive in tone. Provides one-sentence summaries of some of the stories and likens Reid to authors Raymond Carver and Thom Jones. Recommends his fiction to public libraries for acquisition.

Smothers, Bonnie. “What Salmon Know.” Review of What Salmon Know, by Elwood Reid. Booklist 95 (July, 1999): p. 1924. Very brief positive review of Reid’s short fiction which focuses on its male-oriented themes and Reid’s good description of the plight of working-class males. Discusses the collection’s title story as representative of Reid’s powerful and graphic writing style.