Christopher Berardino (MFA '18) wins 'Breakwater' fiction contest

Wed, 01/20/2021

Christopher Berardino, an alumni of Cornell's Creative Writing Program, has won Breakwater Review's 2021 fiction contest for his short story, “Dog Bait.”

"This story operates so well on so many levels--it tells a tale that is sadly all too ignored and erased in American history: the mistreatment of Japanese Americans on all tiers of society. Here we get a haunting glimpse at the stakes in the military. But the sociopolitical is not the only level at which this story excels: it is simply stunningly written. It does not shy away from the grotesque, the unspeakably dark and inhumane. I don't think I will ever think of a dog bark the same--it's as if the echoes in this story have bled into my real life. It's rare to find a story after which you are never the same, but 'Dog Bait' does this with its combination of brutal honesty, profound heart and soul, and mesmerizing skill. There is a universal pain at the core of this that I have rarely ever seen articulated with such power."

Read the full announcement here.

Christopher Seiji Berardino is a writer of Japanese-American descent from Orange County, CA. He received an MFA in Fiction from Cornell University in 2018. His work has previously appeared in Flash Fiction, The Copperfield Review, Pilgrimage, Every Writers’ Resource, Newfound, The Pinch, and others.

Christopher Berardino reading at podium decorated with Cornell seal