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This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire: Nick Flynn & Mary Szybist

Fri, Nov 6, 2020 from 11:00 am - 11:45 am PST
Livestream at PDXBookFest.org
#PDXBookFest

Free

Nick Flynn and Mary Szybist

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When Nick Flynn was seven years old, his mother set fire to their house. The event loomed large in his imagination for years, but it’s only after having a child of his own that he understands why. He returns with his young daughter to the landscape of his youth, reflecting on how his feral childhood has him still in its reins, and forms his memories into lyrical bedtime stories populated by the both sinister and wounded Mister Mann.

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. This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire unravels the story of the fire that Flynn had to escape, and the ways in which, as an adult, he has carried that fire with him until it threatens to burn down his own house. Here Nick confronts his failings with fierce candor, even as they threaten to tear his family apart. His marriage in crisis, Flynn seeks answers from his therapist, who tells him he has “the ethics of a drowning man.”

This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire takes us on the journey of a man struggling to hold himself together in prose that is raw and moving, sharp-edged and wry. Alternating literary analysis and philosophy with intimate memoir, Flynn probes his deepest ethical dilemmas.

Nick Flynn will be in conversation with National Book Award–winning poet, Mary Szybist, author of Incarnadine.

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


PURCHASE THIS IS THE NIGHT OUR HOUSE WILL CATCH FIRE INCARNADINE 

ALL BOOKS PURCHASED THROUGH FESTIVAL EVENTS, FROM ANNIE BLOOM’S BOOKSBROADWAY BOOKSGREEN BEAN BOOKS, OR POWELL’S BOOKS SUPPORT THE AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS WHO SHARE THEIR WORK AT THE FESTIVAL AND THE BOOKSELLERS WHO HAVE WORKED HARD TO KEEP THEIR BUSINESSES OPEN DURING THESE DIFFICULT TIMES. BY PURCHASING BOOKS from these bookstores YOU ARE SUPPORTING THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE FESTIVAL.

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Nick Flynn

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. His most recent book is This is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire. A professor on the creative writing faculty at the University of Houston, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Purchase this is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire from POWELL'S BOOKS, one of our Portland-based, independent bookstore partners HERE.

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Mary Szybist

Mary Szybist is most recently the author of Incarnadine, winner of the 2013 National Book Award in Poetry. She is the Morgan S. Odell Professor of Humanities at Lewis & Clark College.

Order IncarnadineANNIE BLOOM'S | BROADWAY | POWELL'S

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