Churn: an illustrated novel-in-stories

Winner of the 2022 George Garrett Fiction Prize

After a family trip turned chaotic, siblings Jordan and Chung come up altered: Jordan begins to emit smoke when angered, and Chung locks up in the face of conflict, flops like a fish out of water. From the plains of rural Kansas to hundred-acre towns, the end of the universe to its earliest breath, Churn tells a story of rural Kansas like you’ve never seen before.

coming Fall 2023 from Texas Review Press

Read excerpts of Churn:
“Six Days,” Split Lip Magazine
“Burn,” Free State Review
“Clinton Lake,” Cola Literary Review
“Grandma Kim at Forty-Five,” Fractured Literary

“I can’t remember ever having read a book like this. Every story in Churn will move you, surprise you, keep you on your toes. Chloe Seim is a writer of gargantuan talent, and this wonderful debut is all the proof of that we could ask for.” – Robert Long Foreman, author of Weird Pig, Among Other Things, and I Am Here to Make Friends

Written in prose by turns stark, playful, and inventive, Churn paints a bittersweet and emotionally gripping portrait of two siblings as they navigate violence, bigotry, inherited trauma, and moments of glittering joy. In both her writing and her illustrations, Seim deftly captures the feeling of a family in descent, and how the smallest discoveries–a talent for art, a glimpse at a better futurecan become a foundation for survival. Churn is one of the best books about life in Kansas I’ve ever read. This one will stay with me.” Becky Mandelbaum, author of The Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals and Bad Kansas

“A dazzling debut from an explosive and versatile writer. Seim’s prose will incinerate you with its memorable characters and fearless tackling of Korean-American identity, coming of age while poor in rural Kansas, and the mythical—borderline supernatural—way some children metabolize the legacy of family and environmental traumas they inherit…and are forced to continually confront it in adulthood. Equal parts protest and fairy tale, Churn is unapologetic and fiercely creative. Authentic and innovative. Not a book you want to miss!” – Tara Stillions Whitehead, author of They More Than Burned, The Year of the Monster, and Blood Histories

Interested in receiving an ARC of Churn, interviewing me, scheduling an event, or anything else? Send me a message here!