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Small Fires: Essays

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  27 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
This is a daughter’s story. In Small Fires, Julie Marie Wade recreates the landscape of her childhood with a lacemaker’s care, then turns that precise attention on herself. There are floating tea lights in the bath, coddled blossoms in the garden, and a mother straddling her teenage daughter’s back, astringent in hand, to better scrub her not-quite-presentable pores. And t ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Sarabande Books
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Apr 02, 2012 Colin rated it really liked it
Wade's second collection of essays continues to flirt with the line between fiction and nonfiction (although her imagined encounters with her family are now referred to as "parables," which suggests at least a difference in genre). Family is at the center of this collection, although more properly, it's the absence of family that takes that place. Wade writes brutally about her parents--not in the sense that she's overly cruel towards them, but certainly in the sense that she refuses to put even ...more
Rebecca Daff
Jan 13, 2016 Rebecca Daff rated it really liked it
Julie Marie Wade's collection of essays, Small Fires, is comprised of narratives about love, complex and often hurtful familial relationships, and secrets. The reader is guided through formative events in the author's life, each essay containing elements that inform the rest of the work, resulting in a cohesive (and heart-wrenching) collection. Wade navigates trauma and acceptance with clarity and grace.

A poignant and well-crafted collection.
Mar 19, 2014 Emma rated it liked it
These essays explore the places where love and conflict collide. They were really lovely, but some moved me more than others.
Jan 22, 2012 Liz rated it liked it
An excellent example of the variety of what one can do with nonfiction and the essay form. These essays are intensely personal and sometimes even uncomfortable, but worth reading. They take you into what it might be like to be a different child than the one your parents expected. For Wade, that difference has to do with homosexuality and all the "differences" that come with it, as her parents see it and as she felt it. But it's a book with practical applications for anyone who feels different, b ...more
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Born in Seattle in 1979, Julie Marie Wade completed a Master of Arts in English at Western Washington University in 2003, a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh in 2006, and a PhD in Humanities at the University of Louisville in 2012. She has received the Chicago Literary Award in Poetry (2004), the Gulf Coast Nonfiction Prize (2004), the Oscar Wilde Poetry Prize (2005), t ...more
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