Kings of Broken Things follows two young immigrants as they come of age in the years leading up to the Omaha Race Riot of 1919. Tensions are high. Wounded soldiers are returning from war, but their jobs have been filled by black migrants from the south; prohibition is looming; and a ruthless political machine wields enormous power, manipulating the unrest and corrupting thousands. Karel Miihlstein and Jake Strauss are just boys when they land in Omaha, but each is in search of something greater than themselves – and in this pursuit, they are caught in a political scheme to incite a race riot and a lynching, and find themselves at the heart of a singular historical moment and one of America’s most tragic episodes.
Debut novelist Theodore Wheeler has an MFA from Creighton University, with short fiction in Best New American Voices, The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Boulevard,and Five Chapters, among others, and a special mention in a Pushcart Prize anthology. His debut collection of short fiction will be published by Queen’s Ferry Press in July 2016.