An Arsonist's Guied to Writers' Homes in New England

Arsonist's Guide - burning lady memoirizer, letters, practical advice, authors' homes

From the blog of author Brock Clarke:

You’re Safe in Akron, Cleveland, Atlanta, Southern California

posted on August 29th, 2007

I just received some nice emails from some nice people in Akron, Cleveland, Atlanta, and Southern California, asking me if I’d be giving readings in those places. I understand the real question here, which is: can a person live in or visit Akron, Cleveland, Atlanta, and Southern California without fear of being expected to go to one of your (my) readings? It is; you are. For now. But to remind you, here are the cities and their bookstores and universities that aren’t so lucky.

9/5—CINCINNATI, OH—Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 7:00 pm

9/6—LEXINGTON, KY—Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 7:00 pm

9/10—DAYTON, OH—Books & Co., 7:00 pm

9/11—MINNEAPOLIS, MN—Loft Literary Center, 7:00 pm

9/12—MILWAUKEE, WI—Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop, 7:00 pm

9/13—OAK PARK, IL (Chicago area)—Barbara’s Bookstore, 7:30 pm

9/18—SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Books Inc., 7:00 pm

9/20—PORTLAND, OR—Powell’s Books, 7:00 pm

9/21—SEATTLE, WA—Elliott Bay Book Company, 7:00 pm

9/25—BUFFALO, NY—Contemporary Writers Series at Canisius College, 7:00 pm

9/26—BRATTLEBORO, VT—The Book Cellar, 5:30 pm

9/29–PROVIDENCE, RI–Brown University Bookstore, 4:00 pm

9/30—CONCORD, MA—The Concord Bookshop, 3:00 pm

10/1—SOUTH HADLEY, MA—Odyssey Bookshop, 7:00 pm

10/2—NEWTON, MA (Boston area)—Newtonville Books, 7:00 pm

10/3—MANCHESTER CENTER, VT—Northshire Bookstore, 7 pm

10/5—NEW YORK, NY—One Story Reading Series at Pianos, 6:30 pm

10/10—WASHINGTON, DC—Olsson’s, Dupont Circle, 7:00 pm

10/25—WICHITA, KS—Wichita State University, Time TBA

10/30—WICHITA, KS—Watermark Books, 7:00 pm

11/3—CINCINNATI, OH—Books by the Banks, Time TBA

Also, new reviews of An Arsonist’s Guide:

“In the spectacularly titled An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England, Brock Clarke gives us a sharp new novel that reads like a memoir, a scathing satire that reminds us of the horrors of truth-telling. . . . It’s a crisp story that moves along like a detective novel. But what makes it come alive is Clarke’s sharp wit, dropping funny, deadpan observations about suburbia . . . and literary life throughout the book. . . . Beyond the vicious satire, however, there is serious business in the Arsonist’s Guide. Clarke has a lovely sense of the meanings that hide behind what we say and the contradictions of personality. An Arsonist’s Guide is a smart novel about people who desperately need to reinvent themselves, perhaps without knowing who they were in the first place.”–Associated Press

“Funny, profound . . . Larded with grabby aphorisms . . . memorable images and bittersweet epiphanies, Clarke’s novel is an agile melding of faux-memoir and mystery. Spot-on timing gives it snap, and a rich sense of perversity . . . lends texture. It’s a seductive book with a payoff on every page.”–People

“A brilliant novel.”–People (Style Watch special issue)

“We love An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England . . . Even a book’s editor in Kentucky can occasionally find gems in the making: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, which looked like a classic from here long before it owned the New York Times paperback best-seller list. Water for Elephants, which went on to make Sara Gruen a literary superstar. And now An Arsonist’s Guide.”–Lexington Herald Leader (monthly Book Club pick)

A “smart, witty novel-staged-as-memoir . . . Clarke nails the suburban landscape in high satiric fashion. . . . Beneath satiric pokes at suburban America, the memoir craze and literary culture in general (the very title of the book is a winking reference to a popular literary form), there is honest heart here. . . . It’s a blast­its story line rollicking and often absurd, its themes satisfyingly hefty. Clarke keeps the plot clipping along, each chapter launching you right into the next, and ultimately delivers an ending that upholds the intellectual comedy of the book and its themes (parent-child bonds, the consequences of mistakes, the flimsiness of genre) while lobbing us a few in the soft spots.”–Time Out Chicago

2 comments follow:

  1. At 11:19 am on September 9th, 2007, Author readings make booknerds happy | commented:

    [...] and surprise when I was reading in the PiPress this morning that Clarke is going to reading at The Loft on Tuesday at 7 p.m. How awesome is [...]

  2. At 8:23 am on September 12th, 2007, In the Blogs: Favorite Westerberg Songs at Paul commented:

    [...] information superhighway in search of the very latest Paul Westerberg bon mots, I went to go see Brock Clarke read. He’s the author of the ass-kickingest book I’ve read in months, An [...]