Richard Brautigan: Resurgence of an American absurdist

1960s: Days of Rage

“Richard Brautigan would have turned 85 this year had he not steeled himself against the barrel of a .44 Magnum revolver in a remote Californian cabin on September 16, 1984. The American author and humourist, best known for his 1967 classic Trout Fishing in America, died like one of the oddly drawn characters in his novels, in that strange and lonely place between the tragic and the absurd. The writer’s body decayed on the floor of his log cabin for several weeks until he was finally found, almost unrecognisable, by a pair of friends. A culmination of mental health issues, alcoholism and a receding literary relevance had been the undoing of the post-Beat author. He took his life aged 49. Brautigan, who began his career as a poet, published 10 novels in his lifetime, with an 11th, An Unfortunate Woman: A Journey, having been published posthumously. A true master…

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