In this haunting and poignant debut novel, James Braziel tells an unforgettable story of love, family, and survival across a world that has already begun to die.... When the ozone layer opened and the sun relentlessly scorched the land, there was nothing left but to hope. Mathew Harrison had always heard of a better life as close as Birmingham, only thirty-five miles away--zones of blue sky, wet grass, and clean breathable air. But to him it's a myth, a place guarded by soldiers, off limits to all but the lucky few. Meanwhile Mat works alongside his father, mining only the red clay that the once fertile Alabama soil can offer. Now, with the killing deserts on the move again and the woman he loves on a Greyhound heading north, Mat has a travel visa and every reason to leave. But his roots in this lifeless soil inexplicably hold him firmly to the past. Torn between hope and resignation, with time running out, Mat must make a fateful choice between a new life and the one that isn't ready to let him go.
About the Author
James Braziel's short fiction has appeared in over a dozen literary journals, including the Berkeley Fiction Review and the Chattahoochie Review. His poetry (published as a collection in a book called Weathervane in 2003) has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and he was the recipient of the Individual Artist Grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts. He currently teaches creative writing at the University of Cincinnati. Birmingham, 35 Miles is his first novel.
“I welcome James Braziel’s debut novel as an extraordinarily lyrical and innovative work. It is both a speculative novel about the brutal consequences of global warming, and a traditional work that memorializes the landscapes and relationships of the rural South. Most of all, it is a rumination on love and survival that is visionary and inspiring.”—Anthony Grooms, author of Trouble no More: Stories and Bombingham: A Novel.