On Location in the Cemetery of Pleasures with George Makana Clark

In this week’s On Location, George Makana Clark, whose epistolary story “The Wreckers” appears in Astoria to Zion, reveals the origin of a crypt he included in two stories.


George Makana Clark writes:

I took this photo in the Cemetery of Pleasures in Lisbon. The metal sign wired to the wrought iron door reads Abandonado to denote that the crypt and those interned within have been forgotten by the living. This of course set me to wondering, and that wonder resulted in two stories set in the early nineteenth century. The crypt in the photo is mentioned briefly in “The Wreckers” and figures prominently in the companion piece titled “The Incomplete Priest,” also published in Ecotone.

George Makana Clark is the author of a novel, The Raw Man, and a story collection, The Small Bees’ Honey. His work has appeared in The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Granta Book of the African Short Story, Tin House, Zoetrope: All-Story, Glimmer Train, Transition, the Georgia Review, Witness, the Southern Review, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere. Clark was awarded a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship and named a finalist for the Caine Prize for African Writing. He teaches fiction writing and African literature at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.