Patrick Wensink began his writing career as a rock critic and his work appears in several newspapers, magazines and web sites. Gradually shifting his attention to fiction, he published his first book, a collection of short stories, Sex Dungeon for Sale!, in 2009. Currently, he is putting the finishing touches on his first novel: Broken Piano for President—a comedy about a man who is more productive when he is drunk than when he’s sober, a hamburger more addictive than crystal meth and an angry pack of cosmonauts. We had a fine conversation about his work, his barbecue sauce and so much more.
Your work has been characterized as “darkly absurdist.” Is that accurate? What does it mean for writing to be absurdist or bizarro? Can those terms be used interchangeably?
I’ve been called much worse, that’s for sure. I use a lot of sarcasm and satire and dark humor in my writing and people draw their own conclusions. I’ll take whatever you want to call me, especially “Shakespearian”. I think if people started calling my work Shakespearian, my parents wouldn’t be so embarrassed about the book’s title.