Stefan Merrill Block was born in 1982 and grew up in Texas. His first novel, THE STORY OF FORGETTING, won Best First Fiction at the Rome International Festival of Literature, the 2008 Merck Serono Literature Prize and the 2009 Fiction Award from The Writers’ League of Texas. THE STORY OF FORGETTING was also a finalist for the debut fiction awards from IndieBound, Salon du Livre and The Center for Fiction. His second novel, THE STORM AT THE DOOR, was published in 2011. He lives in Brooklyn.
His latest novel, OLIVER LOVING, was published by Atlantic Books in 2018.
Praise for OLIVER LOVING (2018):
'The last book that made me cry [was] Stefan Merrill Block’s Oliver Loving. Its subject matter – a young man in a coma after a school shooting, and the repercussions for his family – lends itself to tears, but the novel’s real accomplishment is to avoid pulling heartstrings.' Kamila Shamsie
One moonless November night, Oliver shyly joined his classmates at Bliss County Day School's annual dance, hoping for a glimpse of the object of his unrequited affections, an enigmatic Junior named Rebekkah Sterling. But as the music played in the gymnasium, a troubled young man snuck in through the school's back door. It was all over in a few terrible minutes; the dire decisions this man made that night, and the unspoken story he carried, forever transformed Oliver's world and tore the town of Bliss, Texas apart.
Nearly ten years later, Oliver Loving still lies wordless and paralyzed at Crockett State Assisted Care Facility, the fate of his mind unclear. Meanwhile, his parents and his brother try to cope in their own disparate self-destructive ways, whilst Rebekkah, who left Texas long ago, still refuses to speak about her own part in that tragic night.
When a new medical test promises a key to unlock Oliver's trapped mind, the town's unanswered questions resurface with new urgency, as Oliver's doctors and his family fight for a way for Oliver to finally communicate? and so also to tell the truth of what really happened that fateful night.
Oliver Loving is a brilliant and beautifully told story of family, as heart-breaking as it is profound. It is a novel of the myths we make; the ties that bind us and the forces that keep us apart.