Aaron Schneider’s What We Think We Know is a debut collection of short fiction that tests, expands, and sometimes explodes the limits of the short story, setting conventional forms alongside fragmented narratives, playing with perspective, and incorporating the instruments of data analysis (figures, tables and charts) into literary fiction. Here you’ll find a satirical take on a scientific poster, a triptych of linked pieces that use footnotes, figures, and financial data to unfold the loves, dreams and disappointments of their shared protagonist, an autofiction novella that digs into the author’s fraught relationship with his father, and a lyrical novelette that explores the life of a family through an extended description of their home. At once experimental and deeply human, What We Think We Know is an accomplished exploration of the possibilities of fiction.
"Aaron Schneider’s What We Think We Know is a rare gem of a short story collection. Schneider’s stunning experimentation with form is matched by the riveting, authentic complexity of his characters and communities, his variously unflinching and tender explorations of their loss, hope, trauma, and desire."
—Daniel Scott Tysdal, author of Wave Forms and Doom Scrolls
"A lightning strike on consciousness, and one of the most daring books to come out in recent memory. Schneider is a literary marvel."
—Jean Marc Ah-Sen, author of In the Beggarly Style of Imitation
"Aaron Schneider’s What We Think We Know plunges the reader headlong into an innovative collection of short fiction—pushing at boundaries and at times challenging our understanding of the short story form. Engaging, clever and evocative, Aaron’s writing is both compelling and memorable."
—Lucy Black, author of The Marzipan Fruit Basket, Eleanor Courtown, and Stella’s Carpet
*The stories in What We Think We Know contain, either directly or by allusion, the fragments of a number of other both public and private texts. What follows is a selected list of some those texts, including links and, in some cases, the full texts themselves. Texts are listed by page number.
171 My father's letter:
173 Paul Boisvert's letter to the city: