Nick Olson (he/they) is an author and editor from Chicagoland now living in North Carolina. He was a finalist for Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Award, and he’s been published in SmokeLong Quarterly, Hobart, Fiction Southeast, and other fine places. When he’s not writing his own work, he’s sharing the wonderful work of others over at (mac)ro(mic). His debut novel, Here’s Waldo, is available now. You can grab a copy below!
“Nick Olson’s debut novel occupies an important space in the psyche of American fiction. Spanning sixteen years in the life of Waldo Collins—who isn’t quite Holden Caulfield as much as a nerdy, lower-middle class kid growing up in the suburban shadows of Chicago—Here’s Waldo is a testament to disenfranchisement.” – Gauraa Shekhar, Maudlin House
“Here’s Waldo asks us to recall the adventures and misadventures of our own teenage years, reminding readers (especially of a certain age) that life was more spontaneous, more dangerous, and more likely to spin out-of-control in the days before ubiquitous screens and the safety net of cell phones and constant supervision. While we ride Waldo’s true-to-life rollercoaster, we re-experience our own past, our own formative years, making Here’s Waldo one of my favorite books of the year.” – Joshua A.H. Harris, author of Unorthodoxy
“Olson seriously came out swinging with this debut novel. … Told through bite-sized but hard-hitting flash fiction-esque chapters, this narrative, centered largely around growing up in a dysfunctional lower-income household in Des Plaines, Illinois, is raw in its subject matter and blow-by-blow relating of events, yet rendered with beautiful prose. I found myself going whole paragraphs in admiration of the flowing descriptions. … showed the mind of a true humanist at work.” – Zach MacDonald, author of Itsuki
About Here’s Waldo
Spanning the late 90s to the 2010s, HERE’S WALDO is a sprawling, tragicomic novel that tracks the story of Waldo Collins, a nerdy kid born in a torn-up town in the shadow of Chicago–unincorporated Des Plaines, IL. It’s a story about what it was like to come of age as the new millennium dawned with all its irrevocable changes. A story about the family bonds we’re born with and those we create along the way, and about using humor to find light in the dark. About generational trauma and the continuation (or completion) of cycles of violence. It’s here we follow Waldo from age eight to twenty-four as he figures out his place in the world, leaves his hometown to become a writer, and ultimately comes back to face everything (and everyone) he left behind. Here’s a story of loss, love, grief, guilt, and a search for meaning. Here’s Waldo.
Email Nick here, or get in touch through social below.