‘The Wind Has Swept Away What the Fire has Spared’ by Michael Tod Powers

Elegant writing and a great title: a killer combination for any short story. It’s historical fiction, which I write and which I love to read, set during WWII and flashing back to a devastating 1871 firestorm in Wisconsin. The protagonist Ansel designs (conventional) bombs, but the shadow of the A-bomb hangs over the whole piece like a mushroom cloud. The relationship between Ansel’s son Ritchie and daughter Claire, and his wife Caroline are delicately drawn, poignant and credible. A keeper.

First published in The Boston Review, February 2023, and available to read here