He got up and sat on the edge of the bedstead with his back to the window. “It’s better not to sleep at all,” he decided. There was a cold damp draught from the window, however; without getting up he drew the blanket over him and wrapped himself in it. He was not thinking of anything and did not want to think. But one image rose after another, incoherent scraps of thought without beginning or end passed through his mind. He sank into drowsiness. Perhaps the cold, or the dampness, or the dark, or the wind that howled under the window and tossed the trees roused a sort of persistent craving for the fantastic. He kept dwelling on images of flowers, he fancied a charming flower garden, a bright, warm, almost hot day, a holiday—Trinity day. A fine, sumptuous country cottage in the English taste overgrown with fragrant flowers, with flower beds going round the house; the porch, wreathed in climbers, was surrounded with beds of roses. A light, cool staircase, carpeted with rich rugs, was decorated with rare plants in china pots. He noticed particularly in the windows nosegays of tender, white, heavily fragrant narcissus bending over their bright, green, thick long stalks. He was reluctant to move away from them, but he went up the stairs and came into a large, high drawing-room and again everywhere—at the windows, the doors on to the balcony, and on the balcony itself—were flowers. The floors were strewn with freshly-cut fragrant hay, the windows were open, a fresh, cool, light air came into the room. The birds were chirruping under the window, and in the middle of the room, on a table covered with a white satin shroud, stood a coffin. The coffin was covered with white silk and edged with a thick white frill; wreaths of flowers surrounded it on all sides. Among the flowers lay a girl in a white muslin dress, with her arms crossed and pressed on her bosom, as though carved out of marble. But her loose fair hair was wet; there was a wreath of roses on her head. The stern and already rigid profile of her face looked as though chiselled of marble too, and the smile on her pale lips was full of an immense unchildish misery and sorrowful appeal. Svidrigaïlov knew that girl; there was no holy image, no burning candle beside the coffin; no sound of prayers: the girl had drowned herself. She was only fourteen, but her heart was broken. And she had destroyed herself, crushed by an insult that had appalled and amazed that childish soul, had smirched that angel purity with unmerited disgrace and torn from her a last scream of despair, unheeded and brutally disregarded, on a dark night in the cold and wet while the wind howled

Shout Your Name

Hi, I’m John Matthew Fox, the founder of Bookfox, and my book I Will Shout Your Name is now published!

I Will Shout Your Name features characters who are taken over by forces outside their control — they don’t know why they do the things they do. The stories are set internationally in places like Iran, Samoa, Australia and Indonesia.

Stories in the collection have won these awards:

  • Third Coast Fiction Contest, judged by Ann Beattie
  • The Shenandoah Award for Fiction
  • 2nd place in the Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren competition

Praise for “I Will Shout Your Name”

“John Matthew Fox has a keen ear for the music of doubt that harmonizes so quietly with the sweet melodies that pass for faith. “I Will Shout Your Name” is a worthy debut from a writer worth your time.”

— Kyle Minor, author of Praying Drunk

“John Matthew Fox is a writer of rare power, untold beauty, and focused precision. Combining the gravity of his acumen as a storyteller with the knife-blade edge of his discernment concerning class, gender, race, and religion, his stories resound as both personal and infinite.”

— Shann Ray, American Book Award winning author of Balefire and American Copper

“Writers so often write the real story so obliquely, at times you wonder if they might have missed it, themselves. But there’s no doubt here: the magician’s trick of now-you-see-it/now-you-don’t is always subtly within the author’s grasp, and we know that in part because the subtext begins to inform us about how to read the story.”

— Ann Beattie

Click here to Read Reviews and Buy the Book

Author Bio

Hey, I’m John Matthew Fox, and I provide resources for writers at Bookfox, which has received nods from such luminaries as The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Writer’s Digest, Publisher’s Weekly, and The Huffington Post.

My collection “I Will Shout Your Name,” is published by Press 53 (who I love!), and I’ve also won some contests like the Third Coast Fiction Contest, the Shenandoah Fiction Award, and been published in the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.

I earned an MFA from the University of Southern California and an MA from New York University, and after teaching at the collegiate level for a decade, I decided to focus on Bookfox full time (it’s just more fun).

After traveling to more than forty countries and living in three, I settled down in Orange County, California with my wife, twin boys, and eight chickens. Find me on Youtube.

Q & A

Any time I can travel for the sake of writing, I say yes!


So yes, most of these countries I’ve been to. I spent a few months playing rugby in Australia and a summer teaching English in Samoa, and also a few months wine tasting in Argentina, which feels like Europe but at a fourth of the cost.


I haven’t been to Iran or Indonesia, but I researched those for years, talking to people who’d lived and traveled there.

You don’t plan these things when writing a story collection. I mean, synesthesia has always fascinated me, because synesthetes experience the most basic sensory experiences (hearing colors, seeing smells) in a completely original way.


With paranoia the reader is always wondering whether the character is justified in his fears or deluded, and that makes for great story tension. The depression and amnesia are definitely more personal, as I’ve suffered from both.

It’s this great intersection between travel and religion, both of which interest me deeply. I went on three missionary trips in college, and writing these stories was a way to process that part of my life.


Also, it’s in my blood. Four generations of my family were missionaries in China, before they fled for their lives before the Boxer Rebellion.

I submitted to a host of literary journals, and finally won three short story contests (Chicago Tribune, Shenandoah, and Third Coast).


This attracted some agents, but they all wanted novels rather than collections, so I sent “I Will Shout Your Name” to small press contests.


When I got an acceptance from a publisher, I asked the other publishers who were still considering it if they wanted to bid on it, and then Kevin Morgan Watson at Press 53 said he wanted it as well. Now that I had a few options for leverage, I talked with each publisher about their vision of the book and decided to go with Press 53. It was the best decision of my life. I love Kevin and all my fellow authors at the press.

A novel that will surprise everyone. It’s just the craziest, most fantastical story you can imagine.

Do you have a question?