FREE IN-STORE EVENT: Bookshop welcomes Clare Frank for a discussion of Burnt: A Memoir of Fighting Fire, her captivating memoir of trailblazing and firefighting as a pioneering woman in a male-dominated field. Frank started her firefighting career in Santa Cruz and half of Burnt takes place in or near Santa Cruz County.
She will be in conversation with Tai Moses, who has worked as a wildland firefighter and EMT in Santa Cruz County.
"In this evocative account of life in the firehouse, Clare Frank portrays the risks firefighters face and the stakes that are now higher than they've ever been. She does so with grit and a healthy sense of humor. A must-read." —Erin Brockovich
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When Clare Frank was 17 years old, she became a firefighter in Northern California. Clare was five foot two and officially too young to join the service—she left her birthdate blank on her paperwork, hoping no one would notice. And she didn't look like her peers, who sported an Adam's apple and a mustache. But her brother was a firefighter and loved it, so she thought she'd try it out, too. Very soon, she knew she'd found her calling.
Burnt is Frank's inspiring, richly detailed, and open-hearted account of an extraordinary life in fire. It chronicles the transformation of a young adult determined to prove her mettle into a scarred and sensitive veteran, grappling with the weight of her duties as chief of fire protection—one of the highest-ranking women in Cal Fire history—while record-setting fires engulf her home state. Mentors and managing, funerals and scandal, pickup basketball, car crashes, and always fire—no one has written about this world from this perspective, like Clare Frank. She masterfully mixes irreverence and awe, taking readers inside station houses, on daily calls, and along on wildfire campaigns where antics and dark humor balance terrifying risk, trauma, and a sense of almost holy responsibility. Burnt: A Memoir of Fighting Fire is an unforgettable memoir from an American original.
Clare Frank started firefighting in California at 17 and was promoted up the ranks, becoming the state's first and only female chief of fire protection. Along the way, she earned a BS in fire administration, an MFA in creative writing, and a JD. Frank started her firefighting career in her hometown of Santa Cruz and half of Burnt takes place in or near Santa Cruz County. She has lectured at colleges, universities, and state and national fire conferences, and lives near Lake Tahoe with her husband and two dogs. This is her first book.
Tai Moses is the author of a natural history memoir titled Zooburbia: Meditations on the Wild Animals Among Us (Parallax Press, 2014). Among her many previous occupations, she edited alternative newsweeklies in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Jose and worked as a wildland firefighter and EMT in Santa Cruz County.