Monday, June 19, 2006

Title: An Unfortunate Woman
Author: Richard Brautigan
Publisher: Canongate

An Unfortunate Woman is Richard Brautigan’s last book – documenting his best attempts to avoid talking about an unfortunate woman. We know at the start of the book that Brautigan has turned 47, and that the woman of the title has hung herself in the house where he sometimes lives. Originally hand written in a 160-page notepad, Brautigan wrote to fill the pages, to form a kind of journal. Following the first 6-months or so of 1982, following his travels – from San Francisco to across the bay depending on his money, on random journeys to Hawaii or Canada reading tours and book promotion. All the while reflecting on life, on being 47, on the rift between him and his daughter, on being more interested in graveyards than beaches. An Unfortunate Woman is the most personal novel by Brautigan I have read, while his other books are mostly fiction, this is strongly autobiographical. Though throughout the book there are those odd little observations that make his novels as quirky as they were – part beat psychedelia, part magic realism. Two years after writing An Unfortunate Woman, after strenuously avoiding talking about her suicide, Brautigan killed himself.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Site Meter