Erin Nowjack writes about the correspondence she shared over many years with Larry Brown, who passed away a few weeks ago. Nowjack became curious about Brown’s work after reading a blurb he’d given to her brother, John O’Brien (Leaving Las Vegas):
It was his first novel, “Dirty Work,” that gripped me. In it, Brown tells the story of two tragic Vietnam vets: one who lost his face to the war, the other his limbs. There is a scarred and burned woman. There is booze. Amid this bleakness, Brown manages to achieve tenderness. And humor. And humanity.
I already had begun to do my own writing and was flattened with awe. I devoured the rest of Brown’s books. The more I read, the more it fueled my curiosity about him and his relationship with John. Two and a half years after my brother punctuated his life with a single bullet, I wrote Brown a letter.
Update: The article is archived at Erin Nowjack’s site.