Michael Credico’s debut short story collection is called Heartland Calamitous. It is available now from Autumn House Press.
Read the Research Notes for Heartland Calamitous at Necessary Fiction.
“In his compelling collection of stories—most only a few pages long—Michael Credico marshals bold, creative images to depict a grim Midwest dominated by slaughterhouses and fast food restaurants. . . . Echoing the work of Franz Kafka and Joseph Heller, the intense, slippery images animating these powerful stories bring to life alienated characters and are challenging and surprising at every turn.”
— Foreword Reviews starred review
“Credico’s sentences bloom out of one another like cherry trees that flower in winter. This book slants toward life in a way that feels real.”
— Rita Bullwinkel, author of Belly Up
“Michael Credico in his book of palpating, pulsating fictions, Heartland Calamitous, captures perfectly the diastolic deadpanned dissonance in the heart of the heart of the country. Here one begins to sense what it feels like to believe you inhabit the goddam center of the world at the exact same time you know in your bones you are smack dab in the middle of blanking nowhere. Here the blue-bibbed and gingham-aproned American Gothic meets up with quadruple bypassed Vladimir and Estragon at some godforsaken mumbling murmuring four-chambered potholed crossroad of they-went-that-a-way America. These arresting fictions are your punched tickets back home, your itinerary to the scheduled crash landings in this leaden leaking lake-effected fever dreamt flyover.”
— Michael Martone, author of Brooding and The Moon Over Wapakoneta
“Chiseled and coiled like a hungry serpent with a wicked sense of humor, Michael Credico’s stories lure you in with terrific sentences and just when you expect to be crushed, embrace you with an unexpectedly tender heart. Denis Johnson meets Donald Barthelme at a dive where Gordon Lish tends bar and Amy Hempel rules the jukebox. Don’t believe me, believe Credico. Read this book. “
— Imad Rahman, author of I Dream of Microwaves
“In this warped, deliciously brutal debut collection, Michael Credico spins variations on a common Midwestern malady: feeling stuck and looking for a way out. His oddly alienated characters find themselves restrained again and again—choked by a too-tight necktie, caught in a glue trap, running a directionless road—trapped, like Cleveland’s own Howard the Duck, in a world they never made.”
— David Giffels, author of Furnishing Eternity and The Hard Way on Purpose