Ben Nickol

Fiction & Essays

Sun River Cover.jpg


Praise for Sun River: Stories, available for pre-order from Black Lawrence Press:

The stories in Sun River bear the clean force and beauty of a Rocky Mountain rainstorm. They are fierce, tugging, and unforgettable. Sometimes a new American voice comes to us like dark thunder. Ben Nickol is that voice.

-Alyson Hagy, author of Boleto and Scribe

Sun River is an exquisitely crafted and thoroughly engaging book of short stories set in North Idaho and Western Montana. Struggling with decisions made by and for them, Nickol’s men and women bicker and yearn in off-putting witticisms and common-sense wisdom. His study here is nothing less than an American vernacular, the language of a people worn and scarred by time and place and decisions big and small. However flawed and desperate, they try, they endure, hopeful and defiant. Illuminated by hard-won insights, Nickol’s Sun River is a meditative, rewarding read.

-Marc Bojanowski, author of Journeyman and The Dog Fighter

Like the river itself, Ben Nickol's stories wind through some wild and rich country, full of beauty and peril both. Leaving the pretty myths behind, Nickol sets off into the lives of everyday people doing all they can to get by on the edges of wild places. These are stories and lives that will stay with you long after the last page is turned.

-Pete Fromm, author of As Cool As I Am and Indian Creek Chronicles

With beautiful and harrowing distillation, Ben Nickol's stories reveal how we love and how we lose what we love. Deft and affecting, this is an impressive collection.

-E.J. Levy, author of Love, In Theory

Ben Nickol's Sun River is an impressive collection. The people in his stories are often on the knife-edge of peril: they're in transition, embarking on journeys, at breaking points, on icy marital roads. As I read, I found myself leaning forward in the seat, peering ahead, pressing down on the accelerator. As the collection makes clear, Nickol's unforgettable characters are always "racing ahead of the storm." I loved these stories and their heartbreaking lives.

-David Abrams, author of Brave Deeds and Fobbit