In the Course of Human Events

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Product Details

Soft Skull Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.7 X 0.9 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Mike Harvkey grew up in rural northwest Missouri, near the city of Independence, a crystal meth stronghold long before Breaking Bad. When he moved to New York in 2001 to attend Columbia's Creative Writing MFA Program as a Bingham Fellow, he began training Kyokushin, a brutal form of martial art known for bare-knuckle fighting, and was promoted to black belt in 2006. One of his short stories won Zoetrope All-Story Magazine's short fiction contest; others have been published in Mississippi Review and Alaska Quarterly Review.


Praise for In the Course of Human Events

"This novel examines the feelings of hatred that can be born out of poverty in a raw, unforgiving light." --LA Magazine

"Harvkey's gripping story is both an intimate reflection on one man's need to escape the familiar and a sharp critique of radical culture in the Midwest." --Nylon Guys

"Comic timing worthy of the Marx Brothers [...]. Harvkey humanizes a particular strand of extremism in American society"

"With this stunning debut, a major new talent bursts upon the world of American Letters. In the Course of Human Events is as brave as it is brilliant, as unsettling as it is important, and unlike anything else I've read. Mike Harvkey writes scenes of uncommon imagination, characters that leap to life at a single stroke. They will grab you in a bear hug, or by the throat (and sometimes both), and carry you along through a story every bit as gripping. A fearless exploration of an uncomfortable corner of the human heart--and an America little examined and even less understood--this is an important novel. Add to that the fact that it's also so damn funny and here comes one hell of a book." - Josh Weil, author of The New Valley

"In the Course of Human Events is a dark, and yet compassionate gaze into the frustrated, violent, and broken heart of America. Mike Harvkey has written a gripping, bold and daring novel unlike any I've had the pleasure of reading before."--Dinaw Mengestu, MacArthur Genius Fellow and author of How to Read the Air and The Wonderful Things that Heaven Bears

"In the Course of Human Events is at once a harrowing descent into the white supremacist underground and a timely portrait of 21st-century American malaise. Mike Harvkey well understands his bleak Midwestern landscape, beaten down by recession, and casts an unflinching eye upon the casual violence and hate-consumed paranoia of the subculture such a hopeless world can nurture." - Mark Binelli, author of Detroit City Is the Place to Be

"In the Course of Human Events is a nightmare revelation: a mid-American apocalypse where your worst fears of coming apart are merely the protagonist's coming-of-age. With prose that kicks harder than a sensei, and a villain that would haunt Tyler Durden's dreams, Mike Harvkey has established himself as a major voice in contemporary fiction. A novel so good it's got to be bad for you."--Aaron Gwyn, author of Wynne's War and Dog on the Cross

"Harvkey skillfully shows how Clyde's conscience gives way to his desire for meaningful work and connections [and] pushes this eerie, engrossing satire to its bloody conclusion. It's a provocative, unflinching look at the hate that poverty has fomented in places like Strasburg--'the town the American Dream forgot.'" --Publisher's Weekly Starred Review