Out of a Shakespearean-wild Midwest dust storm, a man rises. "Just a glimpse of him," says his sister; "every inch of him," says his guilt-filled lover. "Close your eyes," says his nephew. "What about it?" asks his father. The cupboard is filled with lime Jell-O, and there are aliens, deadly kissing, and a restless, alcoholic mother who carries a gun. "Every family is this normal," insists the narrator. "Whoever noticed my brother, with a family as normal as this?" the beleaguered sister asks. Against the smoky prairie horizon and despite his seizures, a brother builds a life. Imbued with melancholy cheer, Dog on Fire unfolds around a family's turmoil, past loves, and a mysterious death.