Home Is Burning: A Memoir (Paperback)
25-year-old Dan Marshall, living the good life in L.A., is forced to put his privileged young life on hold to return home to Utah to care for his dearly loved, terminally ill parents. He lays bare his soul here, infusing his devastation with shockingly crude and cringe-worthy detail, using his dark sense of humor to create a story this is not only bearable, but often hilarious, especially when combined with tons of cursing, boozing, Mormon hating and a house full of crazy cats. Imagine Beavis and Butthead being literate and kind, telling fart jokes while struggling to cope with overwhelming pain and loss.— From Alissa
November 2015 Indie Next List
“Emotionally devastating and also somehow incredibly funny, this memoir left me feeling grateful for the bonds of family. Marshall's mother has been fighting cancer -- and winning! -- since he was a kid, but when his father is diagnosed with ALS, Marshall moves home to help battle this new medical challenge. It might have gone better if Marshall was at all the responsible, mature, and resourceful person the situation called for. Instead he flails and fails and acts wildly inappropriately --because what else can you do as your dad wastes away? Sometimes there's nothing more important than looking mortality in the face, admitting we're scared, and making a fart joke.”
— Nichole McCown (E), Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
"A heartwarming, profane memoir about humor and resilience in the face of tragedy." - People
A Library Journal Best Memoir of 2015
"Funny, touching, quirky, heartbreaking...destined to become a modern classic." - Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year (2015)
Meet Dan Marshall. 25, good job, great girlfriend, and living the dream life in sunny Los Angeles without a care in the world. Until his mother calls. He ignores it, as you usually do when Mom calls. Then she calls again. And again.
Dan thought things were going great at home. But it turns out his mom's cancer, which she had battled throughout his childhood with tenacity and a mouth foul enough to make a sailor blush, is back. And to add insult to injury, his loving father has been diagnosed with ALS.
Sayonara L.A., Dan is headed home to Salt Lake City.
Dan returns to shouting matches with his siblings at the dinner table, old flames knocking at the door, and a speech device programmed to help his father communicate that is as crude as the rest of them. But they put their petty differences aside to form Team Terminal, battling their parents' illnesses as best they can. As Dan steps into his role as caregiver, wheelchair wrangler, and sibling referee, he watches pieces of his previous life slip away, and comes to realize that the further you stretch the ties that bind, the tighter they hold you together.
About the Author
DAN MARSHALL grew up in a nice home with nice parents in Salt Lake City, Utah, before attending UC Berkeley. After college, Dan worked at a strategic communications public relations firm in Los Angeles. At 25, he left work and returned to Salt Lake to take care of his sick parents. While caring for them, he started writing detailed accounts about many of their weird, sad, funny adventures. H"ome Is Burning" is his first book.