"The mood of these six long, finely-written stories from Howard (Tea of Ulaanbaatar) is dark, sordid, and desperate... The most disturbing [...] story in the collection is "Son of Man." Based on Charles Manson's cult, the story suggests a degree of government complicity in the heinous crimes. The title story, another novella-length piece, begins in 1818 and tells the heartbreaking tale of Labelle, a mixed-race orphan journeying up the Mississippi... The collection etches a disturbing, unsettling vision, told with a brave, unflinching perspective..." - Publishers Weekly
"In these six pieces that range from the massacre of the Illini to Charles Manson to contemporary Middle East atrocity, Christopher R. Howard begins to fill in the details of the dark ethical border territories he began to map in his debut Tea of Ulaanbaatar
. Depicting his apocalypses—both the cosmic and the man-made kind—with a rich blend of sardonic wit and ethical outrage, an unflinching eye for sensory nuance both grotesque and sublime, and a lucid prose that suggests a more cosmopolitan Cormac McCarthy, Howard is probably the greatest literary prophet of doom we have working."—Jeanne Thornton, author of The Dream of Doctor Bantam
About the Author
Christopher Howard grew up in Illinois and spent a few months of an aborted Peace Corps sojourn in Mongolia in the late 1990s. His short story, "How to Make Millions in the Oil Market," published in McSweeney's
, was nominated for the 2008 National Magazine Award in Fiction. Along with Jodi Picoult, he was one of two authors selected to provide a short story for the launch of Amazon Singles in January 2011.