“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 gave 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)
Jamie Quatro’s remarkable first book of stories I Want To Show You More published to spectacular reviews, announcing 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 original 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.