Who is Aaron Gwyn?
He received a B.A. from East Central University and an M.A. from Oklahoma State University. His Ph.D. in English was awarded by the University of Denver. He is an associate professor of English at University of North Carolina - Charlotte where he teaches fiction writing and American literature.
Dog on the Cross is described as "eight linked stories cast a baleful light on fear, loathing, and sexual repression in the Bible Belt." The book was a finalist for the 2005 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. A Boston Globe review called it a "dazzlingly inventive collection" and added "In Gwyn's expert hands, nothing, including good or evil, is ever so simple, and that's what makes this collection - part Flannery O'Connor, part Shirley Jackson, and wholly original - so brilliantly compelling." A review of the book in the Star-News compared Gwyn's style with that of Flannery O'Connor and Raymond Carver.
His first novel, The World Beneath, is described as "a grim, suspenseful first novel about murder in a small town." Publishers Weekly called the story about a missing half Chickasaw/half Mexican boy "uneven", but noted Gwyn's talent. Library Journal also gave a middling review, finding it "entertaining" but failing to live up to its promise, criticising the latter part of the book which turns into a detective story.