Brothers: 26 Stories of Love and Rivalry

Overview

"Here is a tapestry of stories about the complex and unique relationship that exists between brothers. In this book, authors take an unvarnished look at how brothers admire and admonish, revere and revile, connect and compete, love and war with each other. With hearts and minds wide open,and, in some cases, with laugh-outloud humor, the writers tackle a topic that is as old as the Bible and yet has been, heretofore, overlooked." Contributors range in age from twenty-four to eighty-four, and their stories from comic to tragic. Brothers examines ...
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Overview

"Here is a tapestry of stories about the complex and unique relationship that exists between brothers. In this book, authors take an unvarnished look at how brothers admire and admonish, revere and revile, connect and compete, love and war with each other. With hearts and minds wide open,and, in some cases, with laugh-outloud humor, the writers tackle a topic that is as old as the Bible and yet has been, heretofore, overlooked." Contributors range in age from twenty-four to eighty-four, and their stories from comic to tragic. Brothers examines and explores the experiences of love and loyalty and loss, of altruism and anger, of competition and compassion - the confluence of things that conspire to form the unique nature of what it is to be and to have a brother.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This fine collection of essays and short fiction play numerous variations on the bonds between brothers, employing a number of popular writers aging from 24 to 84. Among the most gripping is "Missing Parts," David Kaczynski's account of growing up with the Unabomber, seeking understanding without condemnation or pardon. The nonjudgmental tone runs throughout, from Phillip Lopate's "My Brother, Life," a story of envy, to "Doing Time" by John Edgar Wideman, about his brother in prison. Richard Ford extends the scope to include his Sigma Chi fraternity brothers, and David Sedaris injects some much-needed lightness with a charming tribute to his little brother, "the Rooster," who early on developed an amazing capacity for dropping f-bombs. Daniel Menaker and Gregory Orr, whose brothers both met a premature end, explore their survivor's guilt. Jim Shepard writes about writing about his brother. Other contributors include Ethan Canin, Dominick Dunne, Mikal Gilmore, David Maraniss, and Geoffrey and Tobias Wolff. Among a number of similar titles aimed at sisters, this collection is as nostalgic and intimate as any. At least a handful of these tales will connect with anyone who's a brother, or who has one.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Literary notables write about the rough-and-tumble bond between brothers. Novelist Frank McCourt's rollicking essay detailing each of his brothers' strengths and weaknesses is a fitting introduction to literary agent Blauner's assortment of sibling ruminations. First up is the friendly fire exchanged between Benjamin and Fred Cheever, who take turns volleying their opinions on each other and how they separately perceived their upbringing in the shadow of a Pulitzer Prize-winning father. In "Secrets and Bones," Rolling Stone writer Mikal Gilmore reflects on the nature of family ties-a "fidelity born of blood"-during a bittersweet reunion with his "relinquished" brother Frank. Ethan Canin's "American Beauty" touches on the frivolity and melodramatic intercourse of family. Tobias Wolff's recollection, one of the best in the compilation, examines the "shambles of a summer" spent with his brother Geoffrey in the wake of their father's nervous breakdown. David Sedaris offers an amusingly over-the-top, potty-mouthed family fable. Coming to terms with his brother Robert's harrowingly sad mental illness becomes Jay Neugeboren's key to happiness. David Kaczynski dissects life with "Unabomber" brother Ted as he describes the drastic repercussions of Ted's cumulative psychological deterioration. Insisting it was "veneration" and not rivalry, Chris Bohjalian describes his motivation in mimicking his brother's younger years, while rivalry certainly propels Daniel Menaker's footnote-laden tale of family dynamics. Blauner (co-editor: Anatomy of Baseball, 2008, etc.) closes the anthology with a hilarious interview of Nathaniel and Simon Rich, who animate the push-pull fraternization of close-knitbrothers. An accomplished paean to brotherly love.
From the Publisher
"Whether or not you have a brother, you’ll enjoy the entertaining, affecting tales collected here." —Penthouse (June 2009)

"Watch the boys in this rich anthology battle and booze, worship, envy, argue and die, and try not to think of your own brother. Brothers, edited by Andrew Blauner, is aptly subtitled 26 Stories of Love and Rivalry; by the end, you’ll wish there were a single word for that fraternal emotion ("lovalry"?) In this sampler with a surprising number of writer brothers (Wolffs, Cheevers, etc.) it’s David Kaczynski’s tale of recognizing the Unabomber in an older Ted that haunts and Rooster Sedaris who amuses, while Phillip Lobate, nails it, calling his brother "my personal metaphor for Life." (Playboy, May 2009)

"Editor Andrew Blauner has brought together some amazing literary lions to tell their tales about their brothers and the result is breathtaking, stunning, moving, more than a little heartbreaking, hysterical in places, and often completely overwhelming….Brothers is a remarkable compilation. Nothing quite like it comes to mind. Its force is electrifying and lasts well beyond the reading: the writers’ voices resonating long after the book is closed." (Blogcritics, April 2009)

"[Brothers] will quite likely appeal to readers in their parental roles, to women with brothers, and just about everybody else in one manner or another." -The Denver Post (July 2009)

"[Brothers] is a wonderful read dealing with the funny, sad, complex, comforting, competitive relationships between brothers. I can't wait for Andrew Blauner to come out with ‘Sisters.’ Highly recommended." (Travel Watch, 2009)

"Among a number of similar titles aimed at sisters, this collection is as nostalgic and intimate as any. At least a handful of these tales will connect with anyone who's a brother, or who has one." -PublishersWeekly.com (June 29,2009)

"This book is like a big brother reminding you of what is important in life. It will make you want to pick up the phone and call out: Brother where art thou?" - The Boston Globe (June 2009) 

Novelist Frank McCourt’s rollicking essay detailing each of his brothers’ strengths and weaknesses is a fitting introduction to literary agent Blauner’s assortment of sibling ruminations. First up is the friendly fire exchanged between Benjamin and Fred Cheever, who take turns volleying their opinions on each other and how they separately perceived their upbringing in the shadow of a Pulitzer Prize–winning father. In "Secrets and Bones," Rolling Stone writer Mikal Gilmore reflects on the nature of family ties—a "fidelity born of blood"—during a bittersweet reunion with his "relinquished" brother Frank. Ethan Canin’s "American Beauty" touches on the frivolity and melodramatic intercourse of family. Tobias Wolff’s recollection, one of the best in the compilation, examines the "shambles of a summer" spent with his brother Geoffrey in the wake of their father’s nervous breakdown. David Sedaris offers an amusingly over-the-top, potty-mouthed family fable. Coming to terms with his brother Robert’s harrowingly sad mental illness becomes Jay Neugeboren’s key to happiness. David Kaczynski dissects life with "Unabomber" brother Ted as he describes the drastic repercussions of Ted’s cumulative psychological deterioration. Insisting it was "veneration" and not rivalry, Chris Bohjalian describes his motivation in mimicking his brother’s younger years, while rivalry certainly propels Daniel Menaker’s footnote-laden tale of family dynamics. Blauner (co-editor: Anatomy of Baseball, 2008, etc.) closes the anthology with a hilarious interview of Nathaniel and Simon Rich, who animate the push-pull fraternization of close-knit brothers. An accomplished paean to brotherly love. (Kirkus Reviews, April 2009)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470599648
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/19/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 795,946
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Blauner
Andrew Blauner is the founder of Blauner Books Literary Agency. He is the editor of COACH: 25 Writers Reflect on People Who Made a Difference and coeditor of Anatomy of Baseball.
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Table of Contents

Foreword (Frank McCourt).

Civil War (Benjamin and Fred Cheever).

Missing Parts (David Kaczynski).

The Sensations of Jim (David Maraniss).

My Brother, Life (with Apologies to Pasternak) (Phillip Lopate).

Secrets and Bones (Mikal Gilmore).

We Were Men (Richard Ford).

American Beauty (Ethan Canin).

Doing Time (John Edgar Wideman).

My Brother's a Keeper (Chris Bohjalian).

Headlock (Daniel Menaker).

A Drinking Life (Pete Hamill).

You Can't Kill the Rooster (David Sedaris).

Heavy Lifting (Geoffrey Wolff).

A Brother's Story (Tobias Wolff).

Documents (Charles D'Ambrosio).

Get Away from Me (Jim Shepard).

The Scarlet Ibis (James Hurst).

The Roberts Boys (Steven V. Roberts).

A Death in the Family (Dominick Dunne).

Jambon Dreams (Floyd Skloot).

Imagining Robert (Jay Neugeboren).

King of the Cleveland Beatniks (Herbert Gold).

The Accident (Gregory Orr).

Sacraments of Reconciliation (Jerald Walker).

Chang and Eng (Darin Strauss).

Brothers on Brotherhood (Nathaniel Rich and Simon Rich).

About the Editor and Contributors.

Acknowledgments.

Sources and Permissions.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 2, 2009

    Great Collection for Those With or Without Brothers

    Brothers are a special breed. As the baby sister of three brothers, I have always yearned to understand their unique bonds, code words, secret handshakes. This book explores real stories of real brothers through their gigantic love and bitter conflicts, shared life experiences, mutual and individual joy and grief. Many of the chapters reveal universal truths about brotherhood through deeply personal specific accounts. These stories feel like small windows into others' lives, where they allow to us peer and gawk at them and their brothers for a quick spell and then close the blind. Despite a couple of lightweight offerings, most of the stories have plenty of poignant and funny and heartbreaking moments portrayed with glorious honesty.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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