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A man walks into a bar. A dispute ensues, and the bartender kills him. He's sentenced to ten years for manslaughter. In prison, the convict, Wardlin Stuart, writes prayers addressed to no god in particular. Inexplicably, his prayers - whether it's a request for a girlfriend or a special favor for a fellow inmate - are answered, be it in days or weeks. When his collection of supplications, A Handbook of American Prayer, is published by a New York press, Stuart emerges a celebrity author. Settling into a new life in Arizona, he encounters a fundamentalist minister. The two are destined for a confrontation. In the interim, it seems that the god to whom Stuart has been praying has manifested himself on the earth. In this short novel about America's conflicting love triangle - celebrity, spirituality, and money - Shepard negotiates the thin line between the real and the surreal, expounding upon violence and redemption along the way. this story of an unlikely American messiah shows why The Wall Street Journal has compared Shepard, an award-winning author, to Graham Greene, Robert Stone, and Ward Just.
Lucius Shepard (1947 - 2014)
Lucius Shepard was born in the USA in 1947. From the mid-1960s to the early 1980s he lived in various parts of the world and travelled widely. He won the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer in 1985 and also won the World Fantasy Award twice. He died in 2014.