Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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In Prince of the World’s six stories, Christopher R. Howard reasserts his talent for evoking the gritty and the apocalyptic with poetic grace. "Intelligent People Speaking Reasonably" follows two Iraq vets adrift in the civilian life of the Pacific Northwest. "Space is Kindness" witnesses the unexpected death of Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan from the perspective of a local reporter and a photographer rushing to the crash-site in 2000. "Darkstar" takes place in Dublin and follows a young outcast named Sailor through grimy, pre-Apocalyptic streets as he tries to find the soulmate he hasn't seen since childhood. "Son of Man" tells the story of the Manson family from the perspective of one of its members. "How to Make Millions in the Oil Market" contemplates the absurdity of war from the point of view of a Blackwater contractor first in the chaos of Iraq and later in the relative peace of the US. The epic title story "Prince of the World" follows a mixed-race orphan named Labelle as he wanders north along the Mississippi, ultimately caught in the infamous Starved Rock Massacre in Howard's home-state of Illinois.

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“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.”

“At his best, Howard can be a truly hypnotic writer . . . [who] leaves the reader thirsty for his next work."—Adam Langer, Boston Globe”

“Literary stories exploring the dark, cruel borders of realism.”

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After an adolescence spent in Illinois and Missouri, Christopher Howard set off with the Peace Corps for Mongolia in the late 1990s, before returning home with a severe case of giardiasis. His short story "How to Make Millions in the Oil Market," published in McSweeney's and inspired by his time abroad, 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. Howard lives in Illinois.