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Fire Is Your Water by Jim Minick

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Ordinarily we do not cover Pennsylvania, the setting of this book, but it takes place in a mountain town whose culture is clearly Appalachian. The author taught at Radford University for many years and has written two memoirs and two poetry collections that are Appalachian. He now teaches at Augusta University in Southeastern Georgia. “Fire Is Your Water is a most remarkable story of devotion, trust, healing, and misfortune—and of a skeptical raven misnamed Cicero. The personalities portrayed are of their time and place and yet before and beyond them. Minick vividly demonstrates how daily experience transcends itself. And it’s a genuine love story, the best kind of story there is.” – Fred Chappell. “Minick uses an extraordinary mix of realism and enchantment to tell a love story wrapped in horror, fire, and faith. An utterly original novel.” – Lee Smith. “This magical yet real tale of an exceptional love triangle negotiates in vivid and original ways the themes Minick contemplates in all his work: the intersection of the spiritual and the corporal, the jagged edges of fear and love, and the arduous work of ethics and responsibility. An excellent first novel, Fire Is Your Water captures the beauty of transcending one’s deepest sorrow.” – Darnell Arnoult.

Athens: Swallow Press/Ohio University Press, 2017. 344 pages. Hardback in dust jacket