This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire
In Conversation with Marie Howe.
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.
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.
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.”
Nick Flynn is the author of This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire and three previous memoirs, including the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award-winning Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, and four volumes of poetry. Flynn is a professor on the creative writing faculty at the University of Houston and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Marie Howe is the author of four volumes of poetry, most recently Magdalene: Poems. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, and Harvard Review among others.