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Fire on Mount Maggiore: A Novel Hardcover – October 15, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Based on first-hand experience battling forest fires in Italy, John Parras’s debut novel, Fire on Mount Maggiore, tells the story of Matteo Arteli, a firefighter harrowed by survivor’s guilt after a fierce blaze kills five men in his brigade, leaving him an unlikely phoenix emerging from the ashes. Amid rumors of flawed firefighting operations, mismanagement of state lands, underworld involvement, and serial arson, Matteo probes suspicions swirling around the circumstances of the deaths and finds himself at the center of an intricate conspiracy. Fire on Mount Maggiore is written in a fluid voice that illuminates the beauty as well as the destructiveness that is fire; it describes both the thrill and the psychological toll of chasing burns across mountain landscapes. Displaying craft and originality, this is fiction that signals the emergence of an outstanding talent. The book was awarded the 2004 Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel, named for one of the South’s most celebrated writers. The annual prize, co-sponsored by the Knoxville Writers’ Guild and the University of Tennessee Press, endeavors to bring to light novels of high literary quality, thereby honoring Peter Taylor’s own practice of assisting writers who care about the craft of fiction.John Parras was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Fiction Writing in 2004. He received his PhD from Columbia University and is a recipient of the Pauline B. Adamson Award for Fiction and the Maurice Robinson Award for Professional Writing. He is currently an associate professor of English at William Paterson University.

About the Author

John Parras was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Fiction Writing in 2004. He received his PhD from Columbia University and is a recipient of the Pauline B. Adamson Award for Fiction and the Maurice Robinson Award for Professional Writing. He is currently an associate professor of English at William Paterson University.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Tennessee Press; 1 edition (October 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572334452
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572334458
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,736,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

My newest work is a chapbook, "Dangerous Limbs: Prose Poems and Flash Fictions," published by Kattywompus Press in 2013.

Currently I am the editor of Map Literary: A Journal of Contemporary Writing and Art.

Previously I have been lucky enough to win a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Fiction Writing. I studied at Carnegie-Mellon and Columbia universities and garnered a Columbia University President's Fellowship, the Pauline B. Adamson Award for Fiction, and the Maurice Robinson Award for Professional Writing.

My novel, "Fire on Mount Maggiore," received the Peter Taylor Prize and is published by the University of Tennessee Press. The novel, which is based on first-hand experience battling brush fires in Italy, was also a finalist in the Associated Writing Programs Contest in the Novel, in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, and in the Independent Publisher Book Awards. In 2006 the novel received Silver Prize in the Foreword Book of the Year Awards for Literary Fiction.

Poems and stories of mine have appeared in magazines such as "Salmagund," "Painted Bride Quarterly," "Quick Fiction," "Salt Hill," "The Dominion Review," and "Oasis." I currently teach Creative Writing and Literature at William Paterson University in New Jersey and travel frequently to "bella Italia."

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Based on events in the author's life while fighting forest fires in Italy, Fire On Mount Maggiore is a novel about a firefighter plagued with survivor's guilt after a terrible blaze slaughters five men in his brigade. Caught amid rumors and suspicions of flawed firefighting operations, corruption in the management of state lands, serial arson, and influence of the criminal underworld, he embarks upon an exploration into the conspiracy. Winner of the 2004 Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel, Fire On Mount Maggiore blends the realism of firsthand experience with a suspenseful saga of adventure, danger, and a glimpse into the darkness of men's hearts. Highly recommended.
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By Leslie N on January 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was completely absorbed by it. I had read a few of the author's short stories and assumed there would be powerful imagery in his novel as well. But I was still unprepared for the vividness and force of the pictures he created.

Firefighting is far from my personal experience, but I could identify throughout the book with the characters' approach-avoidance to the lure and danger of fire. Similarly, I could relate to the alternating boredom and exhilaration of the job. The intricacies of small-town Italian political machinations were a revelation but totally believable.
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Fire on Mount Maggiore: A Novel
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