How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse Ball

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Thu, 08/18/2016 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse Ball

 

How to Set a Fire and Why, Jesse Ball’s singular, blistering new novel, tells the story of a teenage girl who has lost everything—and will burn anything.
 Lucia’s father is dead, her mother is in a mental hospital, and she’s living in a garage-turned-bedroom with her aunt. And now she’s been kicked out of school—again. Making her way through the world with only a book, a zippo lighter, a pocketful of stolen licorice, a biting wit, and the striking intel­ligence that she tries to hide, Lucia spends her days riding the bus to visit her mother and following the only rule that makes any sense to her: Don’t do things you aren’t proud of. “Lucia details a philosophy that smartly parallels the novel’s own–namely, that writing literature is, like arson, an act of creation and destruction...A song of teenage heartbreak sung with a movingly particular sadness, a mature meditation on how actually saying something, not just speaking, is what most makes a voice human.”
Publishers Weekly (starred, boxed review)

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