Kings of Broken Things
With characters depicted in precise detail and wide panorama--a kept-woman's parlor, a contentious interracial baseball game on the Fourth of July, and the tragic true events of the Omaha Race Riot of 1919--Kings of Broken Things reveals the folly of human nature in an era of astonishing ambition.
During the waning days of World War I, three lost souls find themselves adrift in Omaha, Nebraska, at a time of unprecedented nationalism, xenophobia, and political corruption. Adolescent European refugee Karel Miihlstein's life is transformed after neighborhood boys discover his prodigious natural talent for baseball. Jake Strauss, a young man with a violent past and desperate for a second chance, is drawn into a criminal underworld. Evie Chambers, a kept woman, is trying to make ends meet and looking every which way to escape her cheerless existence.
As wounded soldiers return from the front and black migrant workers move north in search of economic opportunity, the immigrant wards of Omaha become a tinderbox of racial resentment stoked by unscrupulous politicians. Punctuated by an unspeakable act of mob violence, the fates of Karel, Jake, and Evie will become inexorably entangled with the schemes of a ruthless political boss whose will to power knows no bounds.
Written in the tradition of Don DeLillo and Colum McCann, with a great debt to Ralph Ellison, Theodore Wheeler's debut novel Kings of Broken Things is a panoramic view of a city on the brink of implosion during the course of this summer of strife.
Earn by promoting books
Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.Become an affiliate
About the Author
Theodore Wheeler is the author of the novel Kings of Broken Things and Bad Faith, a collection of short fiction. His work has appeared in publications including New Stories from the Midwest, the Southern Review, the Kenyon Review, Narrative magazine, and Boulevard, and he has been recognized with a Marianne Russo Award from the Key West Literary Seminar and a fellowship from Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany. A graduate of the creative writing program at Creighton University, Wheeler teaches at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, covers a civil-law beat for a national news service, codirects Omaha Lit Fest, and sidelines as a bookseller for the Dundee Book Company roving book cart, one of the world's smallest bookstores. For more information, visit www.theodore-wheeler.com.