Brian Van Reet

Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War

~ Army Times’ Best Military Book of 2013

From Da Capo Press:

Featuring a foreword by National Book Award-winner Colum McCann, this anthology spans every era of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, from Baghdad to Brooklyn, from Kabul to Fort Hood, and includes the best voices of a generation.

Praise for Fire and Forget:

Searing stories from the war zones of Afghanistan, Iraq, and the USA by warrior writers. Fire and Forget is about not forgetting. It is a necessary collection, necessary to write, necessary to read.”

E.L. Doctorow

Devastating stories including “The Train” by former marine Marinette Kalinowski. Non-fiction seems “easier” to read. But serious profound heartrending fiction goes so deep, touches us so powerfully, it is what we require.

Joyce Carol Oates

I’ve been waiting for this book for a decade. I laughed, shouted, and cried while reading this kaleidoscopic collection. So many facets of war and the people who do our fighting are covered here. Fire and Forget is a literary history of this latest period of American wars. It’s a profound and telling work of art.

Anthony Swofford

A diverse anthology on our long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan united by the extraordinary talents of its authors. These stories are exceptional.

Kevin Powers

From Siobhan Fallon’s moving anatomy of what a waiting spouse has to look forward to after her husband’s third deployment, to Brian Van Reet’s brilliant gloss on Hemingway’s “Big Two-Hearted River,” these stories mark the territory of Return, in a manner both rich and essential.

Anthony Giardina

A resonant, moving collection of stories from writers who know firsthand about the incongruous beauty and constant tragedy of war.

Nathaniel Fick


An impressive anthology of writing about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and their aftermath, featuring an array of distinctive voices including Brian Turner, Phil Klay, Perry O’Brien, Brian Van Reet and Jacob Siegel.

The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani

The beginnings of what just might be the next chapter of great American war literature.

New York Daily News

[An] invaluable collection of veterans’ voices.

– Los Angeles Times

The range of stories in Fire and Forget displays a remarkable depth and breadth of the experience of the Iraq war.

The Guardian

Jacob Siegel’s short story… offers the best insight into the terrors of the IED.

– Los Angeles Review of Books

Captures the messiness of soldiering when the mission and endgame are unclear. Though fiction, each work reads true, filled with tension, fear, and anger.

– Booklist

This is fiction as good as you’ll read anywhere….These pages contain a record of the costs of our excursions abroad that is as illustrative as any culture can produce.

 The Daily Beast

Fire and Forget…stands as the best fictional account of the wars of the last decade and the contemporary military experience.

– The Millions

Only these authors and others like them could engage in challenging sacred American narratives of good versus evil as America fights its enemies abroad.

– The Rumpus

These veterans bring a life experience to the [short story] form that is substantial and heart-breaking.

– Foreign Policy

A volume that in time may prove to be a great predictor of the prominent veteran writers to emerge from these wars.

– The Daily Beast, Brian Castner

Powerful, poignant, and at times painful tales of the truths of war, written by men and women who were there—and one wife who was left behind.

– Penthouse

You are unlikely to forget the quality of the work.

– Army Times

Differs from other war narratives in its ability to create piercing levels of cognitive dissonance among its characters while simultaneously heightening our own.

– War, Literature and the Arts

Faced with something as unspeakably harrowing as war, the voices here have salvaged what small beauty they could from the turmoil.

– Newcity

With wars come war stories and from those stories evolves literature. Leading this generation of war literature is this collection of short stories.

– Library Journal

Gritty with realism….The tales are exceedingly well told. Fiction it may be, but none can deny the ring of truth.

– The Roanoke Times

Every one of the voices in Fire and Forget rises to the challenge, and, as each gains in force and measure, the fog of war may clear.

– Tottenville Review

Anyone who served and anyone who wants to know what it was to serve will value this book.

– Bookviews

Fire and Forget, like almost any war, is an uncomfortable look into the dark corners of humanity.

– Willamette Week

This book is a wonderful surprise and a wrenching education at the same time.

– North Shore Book Notes

Available at local bookstores and online:


Barnes & Noble



Powell’s Books