A Letter From Andy Brown
Dear friends and readers,
I have a surprise for you! Maybe, you thought I was dead, or turned silent as a limestone fence post. But no. I’ve not put away my writing tools, and I’m pleased to announce the upcoming publication of my short story collection, The Chugalug King & Other Stories, from Passager Books.
The book, due out in mid-February, is available for pre-order at http://www.passagerbooks.com/books/the-chugalug-king-other-stories/ and will be shipped to you as soon as it’s in from the printers.
This collection of ten stories is about coming of age, growth, understanding, and what it was to be young in the 1950s and 60s. It is about the moral responsibility of life on the high plains and in the Bitterroot Mountains, in the snow-covered hills of Korea, and the orchid-infested jungle of Vietnam. The tales involve wildfire fighting, piano playing, rodeo riding, boxing, a sawdust-on-the-floor bar, college love, and the inevitable end of innocence, which exposes the true nature of being.
I wrote these stories because I felt compelled to explain to myself and to the students I was teaching just what was involved for a rite of passage into manhood. They were written in the Lakota way, showing how all life moves in circles; and reading them, I hope, may help a person find where they are in life’s great hoop.
With much thanks for your support and inspiration, I’ll keep on writing if you’ll do the same and keep on reading.
Order (Click Books) at www.passagerbooks.com . February 2016 release date.
INSIDE COVER JACKET
My writing has been shaped by my grandfathers and by my own “house gods.” Born in the Depression and feeling the impact of loss during World War II, I was lucky nevertheless to be young before television, in a place where radio reception was poor but magazines and books were everywhere. When my maternal grandfather took me into his lap for a story, he didn’t read “See Spot Run.” He read Don Quixote and Melville’s masterpiece, “Bartleby the Scrivener.” From my other grandfather, I learned the story-telling art of the Lakota, where the maps for living always come in narrative form.
My own house gods include Ernie Pyle, the absolute master of simple declarative sentences, detailed description and the power of human frailty; Ernest Hemingway, never equaled as a prose stylist; Shelby Foote, who encouraged me and taught me that history is not dates, places and shots fired, but stories of people in personal conflict; and the two Annie’s, Proulx and Dillard, whose writing never fails to inspire me to return to my yellow legal pad and my #2 Ticonderoga, and try harder to master my craft.