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An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New Englandby Brock Clarke
Synopses & Reviews
As a teenager, it was never Sam Pulsifer's intention to torch an American landmark, and he certainly never planned to kill two people in the blaze. To this day, he still wonders why that young couple was upstairs in bed in the Emily Dickinson House after hours.
After serving ten years in prison for his crime, Sam is determined to put the past behind him. He fifinishes college, begins a career, falls in love, gets married, has two adorable kids, and buys a home. His low-profifile life is chugging along quite nicely until the past comes crashing through his front door.
As the homes of Robert Frost, Edith Wharton, Herman Melville, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, and even a replica of Henry David Thoreau's cabin at Walden Pond, go up in smoke, Sam becomes the number one suspect. Finding the real culprit is the only way to clear his name--but sometimes there's a terrible price to pay for the truth.
An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England is a tour de force--a novel disguised as a memoir, a mystery that cloaks itself in humor, and an artful piece of literature that bites the hand that breeds it.
A lot of remarkable things have happened to Sam Pulsifer, beginning with the ten years he spent in prison for accidentally burning down Emily Dickinson's house and unwittingly killing two people. Emerging at the age of twenty-eight, he creates a new life as a husband and father. But when the homes of other famous writers go up in smoke, he must prove his innocence by uncovering the identity of this literary-minded arsonist.
About the Author
Brock Clarke is the author of three previous books: The Ordinary White Boyand two story collections. His stories and essays have appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, OneStory, the Believer, the Georgia Review, and the Southern Reviewand have appeared in the annual Pushcart Prize and New Stories from the Southanthologies and on NPR's Selected Shorts. He lives in Cincinnati and teaches creative writing at the University of Cincinnati.
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