Timothy Egan, author of The Worst Hard Time, releases his next work of nonfiction with The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America. Once again tackling the American West, Egan tells the story of the legendary forest fires that ripped through Washington, Idaho, and Montana on August 10, 1910. As park rangers fought these massive flames, President Roosevelt and United States Forest Service Chief Gifford Pinchot saved the land through the establishment of national parks.
Below is a video of the author reading the opening of The Big Burn (as part of an interview with Nick O’Connell, editor of The Writer’s Workshop Review). In just first few paragraphs, Egan paints a vivid, specific picture of the time of the fire, allowing the reader to empathize with this story from long ago.
The Big Burn releases October 6, 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.