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This River: A Memoir

This River: A Memoir

by James Brown


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“Continues where Brown’s first memoir, The Los Angeles Diaries, left off. It’s molten stuff, the story of his efforts to control his river of rage.” —Los Angeles Times

Award–winning author James Brown gained a cult following after chronicling his turbulent childhood and spiraling drug addiction in The Los Angeles Diaries. This River picks up where Brown left off in his first memoir, describing his tenuous relationship with sobriety, telling of agonizing relapses, and tracking his attempts to become a better father.

This is the heartbreaking and at times uplifting tale of Brown’s battles, peeking into his former life as an addict and detailing his subsequent ascent to sobriety and fight for redemption.

“A beautifully crafted and intensely moving book. Without artifice or pretension—without false moves of any sort—James Brown goes after the biggest literary game: death, love, children, degeneration, hopelessness, hope. I read this book straight through, in one spellbound sitting, and I will read it again in a week or two. It is so good.” —Tim O’Brien, National Book Award winning–author of The Things They Carried

“Beautifully written, this is clear–eyed truth–telling by a man coming to terms with the best and worst in himself and others.” —Booklist

This River pulls no punches—art shouldn’t and Brown doesn’t. The good, the bad, the ugly are all there in a lucid, uncluttered, muscular prose studded with honesty, willpower, and courage. Brown’s is a story of a man who, against overwhelming odds, not only came back from the abyss, but triumphed.” —Duff Brenna, author of AWP Best Novel The Book of Mamie

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781582437217
Publisher: Catapult
Publication date: 03/01/2011
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

James Brown is the author of the critically acclaimed memoirs The Los Angeles Diaries and This River. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship and the Nelson Algren Literary Award in short fiction. Brown’s work has appeared in GQ, The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Ploughshares, New England Review, and many other publications. He lives in Lake Arrowhead, California.

Table of Contents

Talking to the Dead 1

Blood and Duplicity 11

Instructions on the Use of Alcohol 25

Remembering Linda 37

The Apprentice 45

This River 57

Dirty Moves 73

Some Kind of Animal 89

American Mariachi 101

Our Japan 111

Instructions on the Use of Heroin 131

Relapse 143

Acknowledgments 180

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