I don’t want to get out of bed. I’m so stupid. I did so many things wrong. I don’t know what to do. I’m going to be in so much trouble. What am I going to do? I’m completely screwed.
In 1991, fourteen-year-old Brent Runyon came home from school, doused his bathrobe in gasoline, put it on, and lit a match.
He suffered third-degree burns over 85% of his body and spent the next year recovering in hospitals and rehab facilities. During that year of physical recovery, Runyon began to question what he’d done, undertaking the complicated journey from near-death back to high school, and from suicide back to the emotional mainstream of life.
In the tradition of Running with Scissors and Girl, Interrupted, The Burn Journals is a truly remarkable book about teenage despair and recovery.
Brent Runyon was 14 years old when he set himself on fire. His first book, The Burn Journals, is a memoir of his suicide survival. He is a contributor to public radio's This American Life, and lives on Cape Cod, where he works as a newspaper reporter. His third book, Surface Tension: A Novel in Four Summers, written with longtime collaborator Christina Egloff, is in bookstores now.