"What happens when what we think we know about our parents turns out to be untrue? Why do we create stories about our parents, and how do they affect who we are? In Playing with Dynamite, Harrigan is, by turns, both Telemachus and Odysseus, as she embarks on an odyssey to find her father, to find herself, and to find her way home. Her story is both epic and intimate."
—Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City
"Through frank and fiercely honest prose, the narrator comes to realize that whatever remained unsolved in her would stay unsolved until she asked herself the right questions, and discovered herself anew."
—Debra Gwartney, author of the memoir Live Through This
“This memoir hit me in the gut and made me feel all kinds of complicated, lost in the wilderness of the human heart, but this much is clear: Sharon Harrigan writes with grace and unflinching honesty.”
—Benjamin Percy, author of The Dark Net, Thrill Me and Red Moon
Sharon Harrigan’s father was larger than life, a brilliant but troubled man who blew off his hand with dynamite before she was born and died in a mysterious and bizarre accident when she was seven. The story of his death never made sense. How did he really die? And why was she so sure that asking would be dangerous? A series of events compel her to find the answers, collecting other people’s memories and uncovering her own. Her two-year odyssey takes her from Virginia to Detroit to Paris and finally to the wilds of northern Michigan where her father died. There, she discovers the real danger and has to confront her fear….read more