Nothing Left to Burn

By Jay Varner

Published by Algonquin Books

Nothing Left to Burn is a remarkable memoir that looks into the life of a family that has spent years harboring secrets, both dark and volatile. It eloquently tells the story of a son’s relationship with his father, the fire chief and a local hero, and his grandfather, a serial arsonist.

When Jay Varner, fresh out of college, returns home to work for the local newspaper, he knows that he will have to deal with the memories of a childhood haunted by a grandfather who was both menacing and comical and by a father who died too young and who never managed to be the father Jay so desperately needed him to be. In digging into the past, he uncovers layers of secrets, lies, and half-truths. It is only when he finally has the truth in hand that he comes to an understanding of the forces that drove his father, and of the fires that for all his efforts his father could never extinguish.

$23.95 (US)

Product Details
Categories
Number of pages
304
Publication date
September 21, 2010
ISBN
9781565126091
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Review quotes
"At its core, the book is about the way we spend half our lives trying to understand the people who brought us into this world . . . [Varner's] writing is reporterly with lovely lyrical flourishes." --Time Out Chicago
"Unadorned but vivid, Varner's coming-of-age story unravels family secrets about firefighting and arson. It's painful and poignant . . . [Varner] reminds us that few lives, even those we think we know best, are easily understood." --USA Today
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