Make Some Wretched Fool to Pay: Stories
by Christopher Lowe
About the Book
The fifteen stories in Make Some Wretched Fool to Pay focus on the fraught relationship between parents and their children in the contemporary Deep South. In stories set largely in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, power imbalances take center stage, whether that’s within the family unit or in the complex world of high school and college football.
Coaches and players, recruits and boosters square off to gain the upper hand in search of fame, success, and meaning. In stories like “A Guest of the Program,” “Five Star,” and “The Bagman,” college football recruits find themselves caught between their own desires and the reality of a system where they’re little more than pawns. Elsewhere in the collection, fathers and daughters, mothers and sons grapple with loss and memory. In stories like “Absence,” “In the Cold River,” and “The Other Dog,” parents and their children struggle to find meaning in the wake of grief. And in the title story, a broken teenager must come to terms with the legacy of violence imbued by his father. In all these stories, what is left behind by those who come before us must be reckoned with so new lives can be carved out.
About the Author
Christopher Lowe was born in Mississippi, spent many years in Louisiana, and now lives in Illinois. He is also the author of Those Like Us: Stories and three prose chapbooks, including A Guest of the Program, winner of the Iron Horse Literary Review Chapbook Competition. His writing has appeared widely in magazines and journals including Brevity, Quarterly West, Third Coast, Booth, and Bellevue Literary Review.
Praise for Make Some Wretched Fool to Pay
“Tough guys have never seemed so thin and threadbare as they are in Lowe’s piercing stories. Men are turned to paper dolls and blown into the wind. Through stories of violence and football, Lowe’s exquisite prose pokes a hole through masculinity to see how it bleeds, how love is always lingering on the sidelines, often just short of reach.”—Dustin M. Hoffman, author of One-Hundred-Knuckled Fist and No Good for Digging
“Along comes a writer like Christopher Lowe to remind us that everything we do leaves a mark and that football is more than just a game, especially in the South. There is violence in these pages, love and loss in equal measure, children bearing the legacies of strong women and broken men. Every word of this collection, every single word of it, rings true.”—Michael Knight, author of Eveningland, At Briarwood School for Girls, and The Typist
“Nimbly shifting between voices, genders, ages, points of view, eras, and scenarios, the lush and layered prose in Make Some Wretched Fool to Pay will transport readers, again and again, into the minds and hearts of people whose lives and struggles will linger like the sweltering heat linking the characters to their sensuous and underexplored region, to each other, and, ultimately, to those of us allowed to walk with them.”—Katie Cortese, author of Make Way for Her: And Other Stories and Girl Power and Other Short-Short Stories
© 2023 University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press
Paperback | 6" x 9" | ISBN: 978-1-959569-06-0