Welcome to my website. I’m Thomas Biel, author of the 2014 awards winning short-story collection Badlands.
“The author is a master storyteller in the tradition of Mark Twain and Garrison Keillor, creating characters that readers care about through the unexpected twists and turns of events. His stories stretch playfully like a rubber band, then unexpectedly snap with new understanding, emotion or consequences.”
“Badlands is full of vivid images, striking turns of phrase, original metaphors, and funny moments.”
−Larry Watson, autor of Montana 1948 and American Boy
I grew up in the West (Montana, Oregon, and Wyoming), and eventually ended up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I’ve been a high school English teacher for 27 years, and currently teach at Rufus King, a wonderfully diverse large public school in Milwaukee that’s in the national top tier of high schools academically.
Badlands is a linked collection of short stories (so it’s somewhere between a short-story anthology and a novel). It follows the coming-of-age years that follow a couple of boys as they try to figure out life in a small town in Eastern Montana during the Vietnam War era of the late 1960s and early ’70s.
As written in Montana State of the Arts Newspaper, “Montana native Thomas Biel’s collection of short stories, all set in the fictional town of Riverside, are infused with the urgency and unpredictability of adolescence.”
I hope you get a chance to read and enjoy Badlands!