Back in the 1960s and early 1970s, Richard Brautigan was one of the go-to authors of the generation. First, his work was all about the new sensibilities the youth of the sixties was exploring; second, he really looked the part; and finally, his works tended to be shorter and faster to read than, say, William Gaddis or John Barth.
This photo montage from the New York Times drags me back to those days of yesteryear:
Do you recognize everyone?
Brautigan was publishing successfully about the time I was getting my college education. They made us read Dickens and Shakespeare and Flaubert but we often could be found sunning ourselves on the Quad and reading the likes of Trout Fishing In America. I just finished a Brautigan novel from the early 1970s, The Hawkline Monster: A Gothic Western, and was reminded of how good a story-teller Brautigan was. Checking my reading inventory, however, I see that I read a few Brautigan works early on but then lost sight of the author until now, over forty years later. I think I’d like to go back and read more by Richard Brautigan.
The bibliography at Wikipedia is a good place to start. Brautigan, unfortunately, declined into alcoholism and took his own life much like Ernest Hemingway, but most of his prose works are still in print. Ironically, I will probably read them as digital copies on my iPad: somehow I don’t think Brautigan would have appreciated that.
Novels and novellas
- A Confederate General From Big Sur (1964)
- Trout Fishing in America (1967)
- In Watermelon Sugar (1968)
- The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966 (1971)
- The Hawkline Monster: A Gothic Western (1974)
- Willard and His Bowling Trophies: A Perverse Mystery (1975)
- Sombrero Fallout: A Japanese Novel (1976)
- Dreaming of Babylon: A Private Eye Novel 1942 (1977)
- The Tokyo-Montana Express (1980)
- So The Wind Won’t Blow It All Away (1982)
- An Unfortunate Woman: A Journey (1982, but first published in 1994)
- The Return of the Rivers (1958)
- The Galilee Hitch-Hiker (1958)
- Lay the Marble Tea (1959)
- The Octopus Frontier (1960)
- All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (1967)
- Please Plant This Book (1968)
- The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster (1969)
- Rommel Drives on Deep into Egypt (1970)
- Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork (1971)
- June 30, June 30 (1978)
- The Edna Webster Collection of Undiscovered Writings (1999)
Short story collection
- Revenge of the Lawn (1971)