A Guest of the Program: Stories
Winner of the 2017 Iron Horse Review Chapbook Competition
Available for order here.
You’re the Tower: Essays
You’re the Tower is a collection of micro-essays that revolve around childhood and the transition to becoming a parent. The book is out now from the good folks at Yellow Flag Press. Order a copy here.
Praise for You’re the Tower:
“You’re the Tower operates in flashback and flashforward: the path that Lowe takes us on is simultaneously ethereal and yet extreme in its truth–there are beautiful marriages of nostalgia and dreambuilding, as if there is an attempt to build a new castle out of the translucent, yet incredibly visceral images of the past. Much like how the theme of ‘play’ exists on its own magic plane with its own rules, Lowe’s work has a lovely logic that is grounded in both heart and mystique.” – Brian Oliu, author of i/o and Enter Your Initials For Record Keeping
“In his new book of essays, Christopher Lowe presents a series of quiet reflections and profound meditations. Whether dealing with the cruelties of middle school, the complex obligations of fatherhood, or the consolations offered by Nintendo in the wake of a parent’s death, You’re the Tower captures the elusive messiness of life, perhaps not as we’d always want it, but as we must live it. —Neil Connelly, author of The Midlife Crisis of Commander Invincible and The Pocket Guide to Divorce.
“In You’re the Tower, Christopher Lowe perfectly evokes the dreams, the wonderment, and the occasional tragedies of childhood. His sly and inventive prose pieces capture moments at once magical, whimsical, honest, and true, all in a brief, vivid package.”
~ Dinty W. Moore, author of Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy
My limited edition chapbook of short fiction, When You’re Down By the River, was published by BatCat Press in May 2014. The quartet of stories in When You’re Down By the River track sons and daughters, couples pushed to their breaking point, and lost souls trying desperately to make their lives new. You can order a copy here.
Praise for When You’re Down By the River:
“In these wonderful stories resonating with backwoods wisdom, Lowe shines a light on the plights of lost souls and sinners, pilgrims, backsliders and would be pro-wrestlers. Reading these tales, I felt often like an intruder, an interloper bearing witness to what no one should be seeing. It was unsettling, disturbing, and richly rewarding.”
-Neil Connelly, author of The Midlife Crisis of Commander Invincible and Buddy Cooper Finds a Way
“Christopher Lowe has written a stunning quartet in When You’re Down By the River. So ragged and raw are these protagonists, their hearts’ beatings turned wild. Betrayal, retribution, ruined love and ruined bodies, just how mutable the self’s ills can be—the themes are as old and primal as the species. In Lowe’s nimble hands, we abandon ourselves to every beat of his characters’ reckless hearts, and even happily take them for our very own.”
-Nicole Louise Reid, author of So There! and In the Breeze of Passing Things
“There is something magical about reading a piece of fiction that fills you up with vivid imagery, and trueness of character, and sense of place, so much that you are simply swept into the current of participating in the world created. That is what it is like to read Christopher Lowe. Each sentence rings of his talent and each story takes you somewhere that you want to stay.”
-Michael Farris Smith, author of Rivers and The Hands of Strangers
Those Like Us, a collection of inter-locking stories set in the fictional town of Wyeth, MS, presents characters struggling against the weight of memory. The collection opens with the story of a teenager who connects with his dying father through the football rivalry that has always divided their family. In “Dunn’s River Falls,” a young veteran is thrust back into a world of chaos when his wife suffers a terrible accident on their honeymoon. “Variations on a Line from Joe Namath” centers on a high school football coach trying to carve out an identity for himself as he struggles with the legacy of his father and his own past as an athlete. Coaches and linemen, bartenders and drunks, tour guides and EMTs, the characters in these stories are obsessed and adrift.
To order a copy, please visit the Texas A&M Consortium webpage.
Praise for Those Like Us:
“The aspect of Those Like Us that adds an element of risk…is that nearly every story is narrated by a character from a previous story. This use of “progressive” narrators might sound gimmicky, but it doesn’t come across that way at all. It is fun to experience, not unlike hearing a lot of good gossip about a person and then, lo-and-behold, he pulls right up to the Dairy Queen in his old Camaro. You want to sit back and listen to what they have to say because you just got one version of his story from the ex-girlfriend. This would be the perfect book for writing classes all along the experience spectrum—have the students write a story from different perspectives, different genders, using this book as a template.”
-Curtis Dawkins, Prison Reviews, BULL: Men’s Fiction
“The stories in Those Like Us are knitted together into a unified narrative by a place called Wyeth, an abiding passion for college football and a group of recurring characters who manage to keep hoping despite the fact that in these pages, as in life, everything has already been lost. With his debut, Mr. Lowe joins the front rank of fine young Southern writers.”
-Michael Knight, author of Goodnight, Nobody and The Typist
“Those Like Us, a new collection of linked short stories by Christopher Lowe, provides readers with a stunning mosaic of life in small town Mississippi. Each of these polished and expertly crafted pieces informs the others, forcing readers to reevaluate what they think they know about these memorable characters and the powerful situations in which they are placed. Lowe’s language is rich and evocative, filled with humor, insight, and poetry. The stories are told from varying perspectives that act much like spotlights, collectively illuminating a playing field. Central themes of football, death and illness, stagnation, unplanned pregnancy, weather and seasons, and alcohol abuse resonate throughout; the title story, located in the heart of the book, deftly gathers together all these narrative threads, giving it the feel of a novel. Those Like Us is a remarkable debut collection from a writer worth watching.”
-George Clark, author of The Small Bee’s Honey and The Raw Man
“Joining the ranks of writers like Brad Watson, Charles Baxter, and Tim O’Brien, Lowe weaves together a series of separate tales to create what is surely best described as a novel–and what a grand novel it is. Dogged by car crashes and cancer, by hurricanes and ghosts, these good ole boys–and gals–inhabit a fragile time between a gilded past and a foreboding future, searching for some sliver of hope. As they struggle to escape the gravity of their sins and the rich Southern soil from which they spring, they come to us like the descendants of Faulkner’s own characters. Lowe’s debut will astonish and delight.”
-Neil Connelly, author of Buddy Cooper Finds a Way and The Miracle Stealer
Firm and tended, these stories of grace, love and football present a world that is both broken and beautiful.
-Alex Taylor, author of The Name of the Nearest River