The Wake of Forgiveness

Bruce Machart’s striking debut is a stunning novel that brings to mind Cormac McCarthy’s fiction, with its crushingly tyrannical father and stark, sparse Texas landscape. This story grabs you by the throat from its first words and refuses to let go. In Machart’s hands, frontier Texas is as unforgettable a character as are the Czech and Mexican immigrants who live there. And as the title promises, this is ultimately a very American story of redemption. You can meet the author at M&Q–7:30pm, Tuesday, November 2.

“The prose is polished and evocative, the physicality of rural Texas in the year 1910 shimmers with loving exactitude, and the story of Karel Skala is a gripping American drama of misplaced guilt, familial struggle, and a search for identity. … What a fine, rich, absorbing book.”–Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried

From an early age young Karel proves so talented on horseback that his father enlists him to ride a high-stakes race against a powerful Spanish patriarch and his alluring daughters. Hanging in the balance are his father’s fortune, his brother’s futures, and Karel’s own fate. Fourteen years later, with the stake of the race still driven hard between him and his brothers, Karel is finally forced to dress the wounds of his past and to salvage the tattered fabric of his family.

Bruce Machart’s fiction has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, Glimmer Train, Story, One-Story, and elsewhere, and has been anthologized in Best Stories of the American West. A graduate of the MFA program at Ohio State University, he currently lives and teaches in Houston.

Details are here.–David E