An Unfortunate Woman

An Unfortunate Woman

A Journey

Book - 2000
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Richard Brautigan's last novel, published in the U.S. for the first time Richard Brautigan was an original--brilliant and wickedly funny, his books resonated with the sixties, making him an overnight counterculture hero. Taken in its entirety, his body of work reveals an artistry that outreaches the literary fads that so quickly swept him up. Dark, funny, and exquisitely haunting, his final book-length fiction explores the fragile, mysterious shadowland surrounding death.Told with classic Brautigan wit, poetic style, and mordant irony, An Unfortunate Woman assumes the form of a peripatetic journal chronicling the protagonist's travels and oblique ruminations on the suicide of one woman, and a close friend's death from cancer.After Richard Brautigan committed suicide, his only child, Ianthe Brautigan, found among his possessions the manuscript of An Unfortunate Woman. It had been completed over a year earlier, but was still unpublished at the time of his death. Finding it was too painful to face her father's presence page after page, she put the manuscript aside.Years later, having completed a memoir about her father's life and death, Ianthe Brautigan reread An Unfortunate Woman, and finally, clear-eyed, she saw that it was her father's work at its best and had to be published.AUTHORBIO: RICHARD BRAUTIGAN published 11 novels, a book of short stories, and 8 books of poetry during his short life.He is best known for TROUTFISHING IN AMERICA, which has sold over 3 million copies worldwide. REVIEW: "I read it in one sitting - its only 110 pages - and felt the loss of this remarkable talent.His insights into life were incredible." (USA Today)REVIEW: "The gravity-free movement of Brautigan's remarkable mind, the piercing comic insights, the deft evocation of the thoroughly marginal places are aching reminders of this most original writer."(Thomas McGuane)REVIEW: "Richard Brautigan's An Unfortunate Woman is not only vintage Brautigan but is among his best, filled with breathtaking insights about our life now." (Jim Harrison)REVIEW: "How fortunate we are to have another book by our friend Richard Brautigan, a man we all respected and loved." (Peter Fonda)
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2000
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780312262433
Branch Call Number: F
Characteristics: xi, 110 pages ;,22 cm


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Jan 26, 2018

This "journey" as Brautigan classifies it, alternates between sunlight and deep shadow, just as the gathering electrical storms and intense periods of sunlight sweep over Montana in its final pages. The loss of a dear friend hangs over the narrative. And yet there are so many of those almost clownish episodes where he displays his absurdly puckish wit: Meeting a new lover at the soup aisle in a supermarket and getting to know her during an interminable line-up at the checkout; having his photo taken with a chicken using Hawaii as a backdrop; phoning a friend while watching a building burn because she would enjoy it; a C-level Tarzan movie that was seemingly made as a vehicle for a starlet to take her clothes off.
And there are moments of startlingly clear insight such as "Maybe if you return to a place, you've never really left that place because in waiting to come back, part of you is still there. If this were not true, then it would be a brand-new place, not seen before, nothing to remember it by." Or his observation of the deleterious impact of our automobile-dominated environment where "Los Angeles visited Hawaii on vacation but decided not to go home".
Brautigan was truly sui generis.


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