Written by Jamie Quatro
Jamie Quatro’s remarkable first book of stories, I Want to Show You More, published to spectacular reviews, announced her arrival to American letters as “a writer of great originality” (New York Times Book Review). Now, with her debut novel, Fire Sermon, Quatro delivers a startlingly unique portrait of an obsession and the complexities of a marriage.
Married twenty years to Thomas and living in Nashville with their two children, Maggie is drawn ineluctably into a passionate affair while still fiercely committed to her husband and family. What begins as a platonic intellectual and spiritual exchange between writer Maggie and poet James gradually transforms into an emotional and erotically-charged bond that challenges Maggie’s sense of loyalty and morality, drawing her deeper into the darkness of desire.
Using an array of narrative techniques and written in spare, elegant prose, Jamie Quatro gives us a compelling account of one woman’s emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual yearnings — unveiling the impulses and contradictions that reside in us all. Fire Sermon is an unflinchingly honest and formally daring debut novel from a writer of enormous talent.
JAMIE QUATRO’s debut collection, I Want To Show You More, was a New York Times Notable Book, NPR Best Book of 2013, Indie Next pick, O, The Oprah Magazine summer reading pick, and New York Times Editors’ Choice. The collection was named a Top Ten Book of 2013 by Dwight Garner in the New York Times, a Favorite Book of 2013 by James Wood in The New Yorker, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Georgia Townsend Fiction Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize. Quatro’s fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in Tin House, Bomb, Ploughshares, McSweeney’s, Ecotone, The New York Times Book Review, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. Her stories are anthologized in the O. Henry Prize Stories 2013 and in Ann Charters’s The Story And Its Writer. Quatro lives with her husband and four children in Lookout Mountain, Georgia.
"It’s rare, to the point of near non-existence, to find a book that has such literary weight and heft, yet reads like a sonnet. I look at it in puzzlement, wondering how Jamie Quatro gives such breadth, depth, and intensity in so few words. And it’s funny, and real, and painful, so painful. Also a shot of light. An education. A mirror. Terrifying." Samantha Harvey, author of The Wilderness and Dear Thief
"I devoured this novel! Quatro is a fearless marvel. An exquisite story of female desire, faith, and commitment, and one of the most haunting portraits of a marriage I’ve ever read." Lily King, author of the New York Times bestseller Euphoria