Married twenty years to Thomas and living in Nashville with their two children, Maggie is drawn ineluctably into a passionate affair while still fiercely committed to her husband and family. What begins as a platonic intellectual and spiritual exchange between writer Maggie and poet James, gradually transforms into an emotional and erotically-charged bond that challenges Maggie’s sense of loyalty and morality, drawing her deeper into the darkness of desire.
Forthcoming January 2018 from Grove Press (USA), Picador (UK), Anansi International (Canada), Atlas Contact (Netherlands), and Minimum Fax (Italy).
“It would be difficult to overstate the wonder I felt while reading this novel. It’s among the most beautiful books I’ve ever read about longing—for beauty, for sex, for God, for a coherent life. Great writers write with their whole lives, with everything they have seen and thought and felt, with their obsessions and their desires; their books have the density and richness of existence. Jamie Quatro is a such a writer, and Fire Sermon is such a book.” – Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
"This book is bright and dark by turns but always shot through with a vital, unerring grace. Plus it's about love and death, sex and God. What more could a reader want?" -Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation
"I devoured this novel. Quatro is a fearless marvel. An exquisite story of female desire, faith, and commitment and one of the most haunting portraits of a marriage I've ever read.” - Lily King, author of Euphoria
"I loved Fire Sermon, and devoured it in one sitting. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful novel. The simplicity of the story sits in perfect counterpoint to the complex narrative structure. It is simultaneously visceral and cerebral, precise and expansive, domestic and metaphysical, plain-speaking and poetic. Quarto’s voice is singular, heartbreaking and gorgeous. This is a novel to be treasured." -Monica Ali, author of Brick Lane
"Fire Sermon reads like a prequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, and yet the world Quatro describes - a woman immersed in the Christian intellectual tradition; a life revolving around fidelity, submission, and honour; a woman grappling with temptation and renunciation - is also recogniseably our own. Passionate, vivid, and deeply questioning. -Sigrid Rausing, Editor of Granta and author of Mayhem
"Jamie Quatro has taken one of the great themes - infidelity - and subjected it to her own exacting and poetic brand of scrutiny. At times painfully honest, always intensely felt, Fire Sermon is a moving and gripping novel of the emotions." -Rupert Thomson, author of The Insult
“It's rare, to the point of near non-existence, to find a book that has such literary weight and heft, yet reads like a sonnet. I look at it in puzzlement, wondering how Quatro gave such breadth, depth and intensity in so few words. And it's funny, and real, and painful, so painful. Also a shot of light. An education. A mirror. Terrifying.” - Samantha Harvey, author of Dear Thief
"Fire Sermon is magnificent, poised and alive." -David Coventry, author of The Invisible Mile
"Written with a rhythmic pulse that reflects the desire it describes, Fire Sermon is a beautiful novel." -Megan Bradbury, author of Everyone is Watching