Publication Date: December 15, 2020
Listen to Brett reading a story from 48 Blitz
Set along the 455 Nebraska miles of Interstate 80, the 48 stories in Brett Biebel’s debut collection, 48 Blitz, introduce characters who search for roadkill, play high school football, drink on rooftops, and strive to find purpose amid the cornfields and humidity of the Great Plains. Whether it’s the politician on a bowling alley tour, the local loudmouth, or the Husker diehard slated for execution, the people who make up this collection struggle with the legacy of the American frontier, its sometimes empty promises, and often stubborn beauty. By turns experimental and character-driven, 48 Blitz goes inside the heads of characters not often seen in literary fiction, inviting readers to immerse themselves within, rather than fly over, the wide-open Midwestern prairie.
Praise for 48 Blitz:
"There’s the Nebraska most of us fly over or barrel through on I-80, and then there’s Brett Biebel’s Nebraska. Biebel’s short stories are exit ramps into small, dying towns haunted by a more prosperous past and the omnipresence of big agriculture. Yet hope, like wheat and soybeans, springs eternal. Each story is a small gem in this dazzling necklace of a first book. I can’t—and won’t—forget the characters that people these pages. And I can’t wait to read more from Brett Biebel." —Sarah Freligh, author of Sad Math
"Brett Biebel's debut collection, 48 Blitz, is a superb rendering of the Cornhusker State and the lives of its citizens. By turns dark, funny, tender, and heartbreaking, these stories are true to the particular flavor and pathos of midwestern life. You'll find no tricks or gimmicks, or writerly sleight of hand here, just pure, masterful storytelling. Read this collection, then keep your eye out for more from this author. I know I will."
—Kathy Fish, author of Wild Life: Collected Works from 2003-2018
"Sharp, swift, witty, perverse: the stories in 48 Blitz are strikingly original, and somehow spare and rich at the same time. The collection is an exciting exercise in contrasts, stories of legend and mythology by way of rural backroads, of a gritty realism that verges on the surreal."
—Timothy Schaffert, author of The Swan Gondola
"48 Blitz reads like something in the lineage of Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, the 1970s Atlanta Journal column, “Georgia Rambler,” and the work of Michael Martone. The weirdest stories here feel reportorial and the most mundane feel like they capture the fantasy world of “Nebraska” in a way only fiction can."
—Aaron Burch, author of Stephen King’s The Body, Founding Editor of Hobart
Interviews + Reviews for 48 Blitz:
—Charity Nebbe, "Talk of Iowa," Iowa Public Radio
—Amanda Dolan, Miracle Monocle
—The Good Life Review podcast
—Srijani Ganguly, Vestal Review
—Cole Meyer, The Masters Review
—Beret Olsen, SmokeLong Quarterly