How to Set a Fire and Why
Fourteen-year-old Lucia is a young narrator whose voice will long ring in your ears. She is angry with almost everyone, especially people who tell her what to do. She follows the one rule that makes any sense to her: Don't Do Things You Aren't Proud Of. Orphaned and living with her elderly aunt in poverty in the converted garage of a large mansion, Lucia makes her way through the world with only a book, a Zippo lighter, and a pocket full of stolen licorice. How to Set a Fire and Why announces the arrival of an astounding new teenaged narrator.
'I was captivated from the first line...Lucia belongs with all the great child truth tellers: David Copperfield, Huck Finn, Holden Caulfield...I loved her and I loved the book, every page of it.' -- Peter Heller author of The Dog Stars and The Painter 'A young genius who hits all of the right notes.' Chicago Tribune
Jesse Ball is the author of five other novels: Samedi the Deafness, The Way Through Doors, The Curfew, Silence Once Begun and A Cure for Suicide. He was a finalist for the 2015 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and a 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Ball received an NEA creative writing fellowship for 2014 and the 2008 Paris Review Plimpton Prize. His verse has been included in the Best American Poetry series. He gives classes on lucid dreaming and lying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.