In 2007, during the months before Nick Flynn's daughter's birth, his growing outrage and obsession with torture, exacerbated by the Abu Ghraib photographs, led him to Istanbul to meet some of the Iraqi men depicted in the photos. Haunted by a history of addiction and a longing to connect with his mother who committed suicide, Flynn artfully interweaves in this memoir passages from his childhood, his relationships with women, and his growing obsession - a questioning of terror, torture, and the political crimes we can neither see nor understand in post 9/11 American life.
The time bomb of the title becomes an unlikely metaphor and vehicle for exploring the fears and joys of becoming a father. Here is a memoir of profound self-discovery, of being lost and found, of painful family memories and losses, of the need to run from love, and of the ability to embrace it again.
Nick Flynn is an award-winning poet and author most recently of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City.