SARAH RUIZ-GROSSMAN at Books Inc. Berkeley

Author image of Sarah Ruiz-Grossman and Daniel Gumbiner and cover image of her book A Fire So Wild

Books Inc. Berkeley proudly welcomes Sarah Ruiz-Grossman to the shop for a celebration of her debut novel A Fire So Wild!

Sarah will be joined in conversation by fellow author Daniel Gumbiner.

With the emotional echoes of Little Fires Everywhere and the lush atmosphere of Disappearing Earth, a riveting debut novel in which a wildfire creeps toward Berkeley, California, igniting tensions as characters from all walks of life confront the injustices lying beneath the city's surface.

As a wildfire threatens Berkeley, the city's inhabitants are forced to reckon with the cracks in the lives they've built.

Abigail, a wealthy homeowner, decides to throw a lavish birthday in a hillside mansion to raise money for the city's newest affordable housing project--and prove to her family that she's made something worthwhile of her life. Sunny, a construction worker who sleeps in a van along the bay's shore, is in the running for an apartment--but only if enough funds are raised at the party.

As the heat and smoke from the approaching blaze descend upon the town, tensions rise and residents--young and old, haves and have nots--confront the inequities laid bare, and the fragility of building a life in a world on fire.

Alternating among a colorful cast of characters, A Fire So Wild is a timely, tautly paced novel that questions why when everything burns, not everyone is left with scars.


"A complex dissection of the impacts of climate change, with an array of characters who feel true and affecting, A Fire So Wild tackles not only a terrifying natural disaster, but the scorching inequality of the aftermath, and demands that we don't look away." -- Charlotte McConaghy, New York Times bestselling author of Once There Were Wolves

"Slender and evocative, and devastatingly observant. The characters hung around my head for days after I finished it." -- Chloe Angyal, author of Turning Pointe

"Sarah Ruiz-Grossman's deep understanding of the overlapping climate and affordable housing crises shines through A Fire So Wild, a sharp and empathetic look at who gets to rebuild when disaster strikes. It is a cautionary but hopeful story about the limits of good intentions and incremental reform." -- Jessica Schulberg, senior justice reporter at HuffPost

"Sarah Ruiz-Grossman's debut novel is riveting from start to finish. Through her diverse array of characters, she captures the many realities that people across all backgrounds face in the wake of climate change destruction. Her passion for California and her knowledge of covering natural disasters shines in vivid and heartbreaking prose that doesn't shy away from the injustices of our society." -- Saba Hamedy, culture editor at NBC News

"I loved this novel. Ruiz-Grossman spotlights the monstrosity of our climate crisis with digestible and tender prose. Atmospheric and gut-wrenching, this novel is a timely reminder for each of us of all we will lose if we turn the other way." -- Sahaj Kaur Kohli, author of But What Will People Say?



Sarah Ruiz-Grossman is a writer and former reporter at HuffPost, where she covered the climate crisis and other social justice issues. She lives in California with her husband and their pit bull.

Daniel Gumbiner’s first book, The Boatbuilder, was longlisted for the National Book Award and a finalist for the California Book Awards. A 2022–23 Hermitage Fellow, he lives in Oakland, CA, and works as managing editor of The Believer. He also wrote the novel Fire in the Canyon. 

Event date: 
Tuesday, February 20, 2024 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Books Inc in Berkeley
1491 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94709
A Fire So Wild: A Novel By Sarah Ruiz-Grossman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063305427
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Please allow up to 48-hours for Curbside Pickup orders to be processed.
Published: Harper - February 20th, 2024