Join us for a new novel from National Book Award nominee Daniel Gumbiner about a California grape-grower, his family, and the climate disaster that upends their quiet lives.
Since his release from prison after serving an eighteen-month sentence for growing cannabis, Ben Hecht’s life has settled into a familiar routine. On his farm in the foothills of California, he stays busy cultivating a dozen acres of grapes and tending to a flock of mistrustful sheep. Meanwhile, from her desk in their old redwood barn, his novelist wife, Ada, continues to work on what may be her most important book yet. When their only son, Yoel, comes home from Los Angeles for a rare visit, Ben is forced to confront their long troubled relationship, which has continued to degrade in recent years. But before the two of them can truly address their past, a wildfire sweeps through the region, forcing the Hecht family to flee to the coast, and setting into motion a chain of events that will transform them all.
This is a story about grape growing and wine, financial and familial struggles, and the peculiar characters and unlikely heroes one will always find in small-town California. Through the experiences of the Hechts and the escalating challenges that face their community, Fire in the Canyon is an intimate look at the lives of those already living through the climate crisis.
Daniel Gumbiner’s first book, The Boatbuilder, was nominated for the National Book Award and a finalist for the California Book Awards. He is the Editor of The Believer and a 2022–23 Hermitage Fellow. He lives in Oakland, CA.
Rachel Khong is the author of the novels Goodbye, Vitamin, and Real Americans, forthcoming from Knopf in spring 2024.
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