Book Club & W.W. Norton Present: Nick Flynn in conversation with Paul Lisicky

Book Club & W.W. Norton & Co. Present: Nick Flynn in conversation with Paul Lisicky

This Is The Night Our House Will Catch Fire is a breathtaking work of spare lyricism and astonishing insights. Rarely does a memoir speak so openly about marriage alongside childhood trauma. And rarely does a work engage so deeply with how our sorrows affect our children. Flynn’s masterpiece confronts our deepest ethical dilemmas and imparts the hard-won knowledge that “love, like everything, is a daily practice.”

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. A professor on the creative writing faculty at the University of Houston, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Paul Lisicky is an American novelist and memoirist. He is an associate professor in the MFA Program at Rutgers University-Camden, and the author of several books. 

I was browsing Crowdcast looking for an event that I knew was supposed to be this week but I hadn’t signed up for and I came across this about 2 minutes before it started. I’m a Nick Flynn fan and didn’t even know he had a new book out last month. It’s definitely going on my TBR list.

When his daughter was seven she earnestly asked him what his life was like at her age. He began telling stories to her about his life then such as trying to get as close to the grumpy old man’s house without getting shot, and the night his house caught on fire. As a child he was told raccoons in the attic caught the house on fire. As an adult, he realized that his mom actually committed arson, and as a father he realized setting the house on fire with children inside was really irresponsible. Through three trips back to his hometown with his daughter in tow, he revisits that time of his life.

Flynn and Lisicky are old friends and the conversation flowed very naturally. I wish you could’ve seen the enthusiasm when they were talkin about the books they’d read in the last 5-6 months.

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