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Hail of Fire

A Man and His Family Face Natural Disaster

Randy Fritz (author)

A memoir of loss and renewal in the wake of the most destructive wildfire in Texas history

Hail of Fire: A Man and His Family Face Natural Disaster is an intimate account of the third worst wildfire in modern U.S. history, and the most destructive in the history of Texas. It is a memoir of what happened to Randy Fritz, an artist turned politician turned public policy leader, and his family during and after the Bastrop County Complex fire in 2011. Combining a searing account of the fire as it grew to apocalyptic strength with universal themes of loss and grief, Fritz gives a first-person account of the emotional turmoil that comes with rebuilding one’s life after a calamitous event.

The wildfire itself was traumatic to those who witnessed it and suffered its immediate aftermath. But the most significant impact came in the months and years following, as families grieved, struggling to adapt to a new world and accept the destruction of an iconic forest of internationally acclaimed great natural beauty—the Lost Pines. Neighbors once close worried for each other, while others discovered new friendships that transcended the boundaries of race, class, and family lineage. Fritz struggled as his wife and daughter tried to make sense of their losses. He never imagined the impact this disaster would have on them individually and as a family, as well as the visceral toll he would pay in the journey to make sense of it all.

Hail of Fire is an unflinching story of how a man and his tight-knit family found grace after losing everything. Fritz’s hard-won insights provide inspiration to anyone on the search for what truly matters, particularly those who have undergone an unexpected and life-changing event and those who love and care for them.


  • Designated as Finalist for Carr P. Collins Award for Best Book Nonfiction


“If you've ever loved a tree—or a person—do yourself a favor: read this book, because at its core love in all its splendor and sadness is what it’s about.”

Jan Jarboe Russell, author of The Train To Crystal City

“The power of the book is in the recovery.... [Fritz] finds “mindfulness and acceptance” and the strength to make a fresh start in a place with haunted memories.”

Kirkus Reviews

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Hail of Fire cover
  • Price: $17.95 buy »
  • Size: 5 1/2 x 8 3/4
  • Published: Jun 2016
  • Status: Available
  • ISBN: 9781595347794
  • Price: $24.95
  • Pages: 256
  • Size: 6 x 9
  • Published: Jun 2015
  • Status: Out of print
  • ISBN: 9781595342591
  • Price: $24.95
  • Published: Jun 2015
  • Status: Available
  • ISBN: 9781595342607


Biography, Memoir, Texas