Synopses & Reviews
When Nick Flynn was a child, his mother set fire to their home. With the spare lyricism and dark irony of his classic, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, Flynn excavates the terrain of his traumatic upbringing and his mother's suicide. Now a parent himself, he discovers that he too may be burning his house down. He returns with his young daughter to the landscape of his youth, reflecting on how his "feral childhood" has him still in its reins.
This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire confronts Flynn's struggle and his failings — including a five-year affair, begun when his daughter was a toddler — with fierce candor. His marriage in crisis, Flynn seeks answers from his therapist, who tells him: "You have the ethics of a drowning man."
Alternating literary analysis and philosophy with intimate memoir and the bedtime stories he tells his daughter, Flynn probes his deepest ethical dilemmas.
"[An] outstanding work....Readers will devour this powerful memoir of letting go." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"With evocative allusions to science, myth, literature, and film; hallucinatory descriptions, and walking-on-broken-glass intensity, this is a blazing work of confession, grief, wonder, and hope." Booklist
"Nick Flynn writes like a wicked angel — heartbreaking and challenging yes, but with an undercurrent of comfort that comes from the fact that you can trust this voice. We need this book, now more than ever." Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina
"The enthralling performance of Nick Flynn's prose (vast, lyrical, and philosophic) takes us once again to the smoldering haunts of human loneliness and the possibility of walking with sight. Against the backdrop of a marriage seeking firm ground and fatherhood that feels, at times, Sisyphean, such a transfiguring imagination as his allows us to realize memory curates language toward understanding and no aspect of the human journey is tangential; it's full of miracles, grace, splendor, and fire." Major Jackson, author of The Absurd Man
"This latest memoir in Nick Flynn's remarkable body of work is at once tender and searing — suffused with longing, ruthless self-inquiry, intellectual rigor, and most of all, desire: desire to remember, to forget, to forge a family, to blow it all to smithereens. I read it on the edge of my seat." Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance
"A remarkable and daring work, a song of both family and self." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
About the Author
Nick Flynn is the author of three previous memoirs, including the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award-winning Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, and four volumes of poetry. A professor on the creative writing faculty at the University of Houston, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.