American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land

Available

Product Details

Price
$26.95  $24.79
Publisher
Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
Pages
288
Dimensions
6.2 X 1.0 X 9.3 inches | 1.1 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781631490514
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Monica Hesse is a feature writer for the Washington Post. Winner of the Edgar Award and a finalist for a Livingston and James Beard Award, she is also the author of Girl in the Blue Coat. She lives in Washington, DC.

Reviews

America in decline, a love gone berserk, and fire...lots and lots of it. If you pick up this book and open it to the first page, I double-dog dare you to put it down.--Dennis Covington, author of Salvation on Sand Mountain
A captivating narrative about arson, persistent law enforcers, an unlikely romantic relationship, and a courtroom drama. . . . Throughout, the author offers a nuanced portrait of a way of life unknown to most who have never resided on or visited the Eastern Shore. A true-crime saga that works in every respect.
Mesmerizing. . . . Hesse recounts the fires and their investigation and the subsequent trials with cinematic immediacy.--Jonathan Miles
Hesse enters the compelling narrative with restraint in probing, essayistic analyses. She tells the story of the fires and of the Eastern Shore and the people she got to know there with an earned familiarity that, at the same time, speaks of the unknowability of a vast, rapidly changing nation.--Annie Bostrom
One of the year's best and most unusual true-crime books.--Randy Dotinga
A brisk, captivating and expertly crafted reconstruction of a community living through a time of fear, confusion and danger. . . . Masterful.--Scott W. Berg
Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse has created a near-masterpiece in American Fire. This true crime book -- about a series of arsons on the rural Virginia coast and the Bonnie-and-Clyde duo who committed them -- is not just about the crimes themselves, but about the community those crimes affected. It's well-written and eye-opening, and I couldn't put it down. For fans of Hillbilly Elegy and In Cold Blood.--Annie Butterworth Jones
Washington Post reporter Hesse leads readers on an extended tour of a bizarre five-month crime spree in rural Accomack County, Va.: a series of over 80 arsons, of predominantly abandoned buildings, committed by a local couple. . . . A page-turning story of love gone off the rails.
American Fire is an excellent summer vacation companion. It has all the elements of a lively crime procedural: courtroom drama, forensic trivia, toothsome gossip, vexed sex. It also happens to be a very good portrait of a region in economic decline. . . . As with "S-Town" and the best episodes of "This American Life," Hesse has managed to wring tension and excitement out of a story with a known ending.--Jennifer Senior
American Fire is not only a twisted love story but also a portrait of Accomack County, Virginia, a once-wealthy farming community crumbling from economic hardship.--Nora Horvath
American Fire is a wonderful book of page-turning, true-crime reportage, exquisitely reported with both humanity and humor. Books like this remind us, in an uncertain time, of what journalism is supposed to look like.--Nick Reding, author of Methland