cover image On Fire

On Fire

Larry Brown. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, $17.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-56512-009-9

This memorable collection of short essays, some of them merely fragments, is the first venture into nonfiction by fireman turned novelist Brown ( Dirty Work ). After 17 years as a firefighter in Oxford, Miss., home of the state university and William Faulkner, Brown devoted himself to full-time writing, which had been an avocation for 10 years. Most of his observations here are about fighting fires, the camaraderie among those who perform this service, the tragedies and the miracles they encounter. But there are other pieces, some humorous, others poignant, on Brown's family, on hunting and fishing, on his pets and his attempts to raise rabbits for the market. 25,000 first printing; $25,000 ad/ promo; author tour. (Jan.)