Brautigan > The Tokyo-Montana Express

This node of the American Dust website (formerly Brautigan Bibliography and Archive) provides comprehensive information about Richard Brautigan's novel The Tokyo-Montana Express. Published in 1980, this was Brautigan's ninth published novel. Publication and background information is provided, along with reviews, many with full text. Use the menu tabs below to learn more.

                     

Chapters

The chapters of The Tokyo-Montana Express can read like (and were often published separately as) stand-alone stories. Where no "First Published" entry is given, the chapter was first published in the Trade Edition of this novel. Story names with a yellow button first appeared in the Targ limited edition of this work.
By default all items are listed and are presented in ascending order. Use the checkboxes above to limit the items listed and present the items in alphabetical and/or reverse order.

 


First Published
The Overland Journey of Joseph Francl: The First Bohemian to Cross the Plains to the California Gold Fields. San Francisco: William P. Wreden, 1968, p. i.
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READ this essay.

Selected Reprints
Place: See America First, Vol. II, Issue No. 1, 1972
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First Published
Esquire, 1 Mar. 1973, p. 160
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This "micro-chapter", in its entirety, appears in the reviews for this book by Sue Halpern and Jack Trevor Story.



First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979



First Published
TriQuarterly, vol. 35, Winter 1976, p. 89.
Published in Evanston, Illinois.
A two-volume set. Brautigan's story appears in Volume 1.
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First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979



First Published
"Four Stories for Aki and Other Treats." California Living, 14 Jan. 1979, pp. 5-7.
The magazine of the San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle. Described as "a compendium of short stories."
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First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979



Background
Written in September 1977 at Brautigan's Pine Creek, Montana, ranch. Brautigan was there with his new (second) wife, Akiko (Nishizawa) Yoshimura (they were married 1 December 1977 in Port Richmond, California) and Tony Dingman, a friend since 1969 when they were introduced by Lew Welch. The story recounts Brautigan's preparations for the first day of trout fishing, and Akiko reminding him to bring Kleenex (William Hjortsberg 597).

First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979


First Published
"Four Stories for Aki and Other Treats." California Living, 14 Jan. 1979. pp 5-7.
The magazine of the San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle.
Learn more


First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979


First Published
"Four Stories for Aki and Other Treats." California Living, 14 Jan. 1979, pp 5-7.
The magazine of the San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle.
Learn more


Background
Brautigan visited Japan for the third time in June-July 1978. This story recounts a Japanese woman thanking him for offering her his seat on the Yamanote Line train (William Hjortsberg 612).

Selected Reprints
Pipilotti Rist, Phaidon Press, pp. 98,101, 2001
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Background
Written in September 1977 at Brautigan's Pine Creek, Montana, ranch. Brautigan was there with his new (second) wife, Akiko (Nishizawa) Yoshimura (they were married 1 December 1977 in Port Richmond, California) and Tony Dingman, a friend since 1969 when they were introduced by Lew Welch. The story tells of spiders seeking shelter the house from the outside cold temperatures (William Hjortsberg 597).

First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979



First Published
Evergreen Review, vol. 61, December 1968, pp 24-26.
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Included a montage of nine photographs of discarded Christmas trees by Erik Weber, who is the photographer friend Brautigan refers to in the story. Brautigan called Weber the first week in January 1964, and enlisted his help in photographing discarded Christmas trees. The project, thought Brautigan, would show the shallowness of Christmas, and how easily it was discarded once passed. Brautigan originally intended a small, illustrated book, but never followed through. Instead, he wrote this story, recounting his project with Weber and an anonymous friend. In the original story, everyone is referred to by their proper name, except the anonymous friend. When he included this story in The Tokyo-Montana Express, Brautigan, who had ended his friendship with Weber, changed his name from "Erik" to "Bob."

Selected Reprints
A Legend of Horses Poems and Stories, After 1965
No stated publisher, but possibly Pacific Red Car Press
No printing, place, or date information
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Selected Creative Responses
Jarvis Cocker, BBC6, reads "What Are You Going to Do with 390 Photographs of Christmas Trees?"


First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979







Background
Written in December 1977 at Brautigan's Pine Creek, Montana, ranch. Brautigan was there with his new (second) wife, Akiko (Nishizawa) Yoshimura (they were married 1 December 1977 in Port Richmond, California) and Tony Dingman, a friend since 1969 when they were introduced by Lew Welch. The weather was bad, neighbors were away and everyone looked for ways to keep busy. Dingman started a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle of a harbor scene with boats under a clear blue sky but abandoned his efforts when he could not complete the sky. Hearing him complain about the hopeless task of completing the puzzle's sky, Brautigan took the vacuum cleaner and vacuumed the entire puzzle off the dining room table (William Hjortsberg 603).


First Published
Mademoiselle, Nov. 1974, pp. 192-193.
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First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979



Background
Written in September 1977 at Brautigan's Pine Creek, Montana, ranch. Brautigan was there with his new (second) wife, Akiko (Nishizawa) Yoshimura (they were married 1 December 1977 in Port Richmond, California) and Tony Dingman, a friend since 1969 when they were introduced by Lew Welch. Two cats owned by neighbors William "Gatz" Hjortsberg and his wife Mariam, Pandora and Queever, frequently visited Brautigan's house. One evening, Brautigan and Akiko put their plates of uneaten cantaloupe on the floor and were surprised when the two cats ate the melons. Brautigan fictionalized the event, and told of luring to his house with "extravagant promises of cat delicacies" (William Hjortsberg 597).


First Published
San Francisco Stories 1979
Paperback, with printed wrappers; 59 pages.
Edited by George Matchette, Robert Monson, and Charles Rubin.
Published in San Francisco, California.
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First Published
The CoEvolution Quarterly, no. 21, Spring (March 21) 1979, p. 77.
Published by Point, Sausalito, California.
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First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979


First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979



First Published
"2 New Stories by Richard Brautigan." The New Ingenue, May 1973, pp. 92-93.
Published by Ingenue Communciations, New York, New York.
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Background
Brautigan visited Japan for the third time in June-July 1978. This story was told him by Shiina Takako, owner of The Cradle, a Tokyo bar patronized by writers and artists, and Brautigan, regarding the absence one day of the bartender. He was at the funeral of a young man who committed suicide by jumping from a hospital window (William Hjortsberg 612).





Skylab at the Graves of Abbott and Costello

First Published
San Francisco Stories 1979
Paperback, with printed wrappers; 59 pages.
Edited by George Matchette, Robert Monson, and Charles Rubin.
Published in San Francisco.
LEARN more.


First Published
Transatlantic Review, no. 58/59, Feb. 1977, p. 117.
Published in London, England and New York, New York. Edited by J. F. McCrindle.
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Background
Written in Fall 1978 at Brautigan's Pine Creek, Montana, ranch. Brautigan was there with his new (second) wife, Akiko (Nishizawa) Yoshimura (they were married 1 December 1977 in Port Richmond, California) and Tony Dingman. This story recounts the time Tony Dingman, a friend of Brautigan's since 1969 when they were introduced by Lew Welch. The story recounts Dingman's failure to drive forward from an intersection in a Montana town that had no stop sign (William Hjortsberg 618).




First Published
Outside , Sep. 1977, p. 7.

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First Published
"Four Stories for Aki and Other Treats." California Living, 14 Jan. 1979, pp. 5-7.
The magazine of the San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle.
Learn more
Known here as "Her Last Known Boyfriend", this story was was retitled "Her Last Known Boyfriend a Canadian Airman" in The Tokyo-Montana Express.




First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979




Background
Written in winter 1978 at Brautigan's Pine Creek, Montana, ranch. Brautigan was there with his new (second) wife, Akiko (Nishizawa) Yoshimura (they were married 1 December 1977 in Port Richmond, California) and Tony Dingman, a friend since 1969 when they were introduced by Lew Welch. Dingman drove Brautigan from his Pine Creek ranch to Bozeman, Montana, where they met Henry Dean Stanton who flew from Los Angeles, California, for a visit. On the way back to the Pine Creek ranch, they encountered six crows eating an abandoned truck tire in the middle of the road. They did not fly away as Dingman swerved the car to avoid hitting them. Allegedly, Stanton remarked, "You've got some winter here. Those crows are hungry" (William Hjortsberg 605).

First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979




First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979


First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979


First Published
"Four Stories for Aki and Other Treats." California Living, 14 Jan. 1979, pp. 5-7.
The magazine of the San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle.
Learn more

Selected Reprints
Redbook: The Magazine For Young Women, vol. 153, No. 4, August 1979, The Redbook Publishing Co., 1979, New York, p. 57
LEARN more.











First Published
"2 New Stories by Richard Brautigan." The New Ingenue, May 1973, pp. 92-93.
Published by Ingenue Communciations, New York, New York.
Learn more



First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979



First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979


Background
Written in Fall 1978 at Brautigan's Pine Creek, Montana, ranch. Brautigan was there with his new (second) wife, Akiko (Nishizawa) Yoshimura (they were married 1 December 1977 in Port Richmond, California) and Tony Dingman, a friend since 1969 when they were introduced by Lew Welch. Dingman saw a newspaper advertisement for the car that turned out to be only an engine (William Hjortsberg 618).


Background
Brautigan visited Japan for the third time in June-July 1978. This story recounts seeing a Japanese stage production of My Fair Lady in Tokyo with Shiina Takako, owner of The Cradle, a Tokyo bar patronized by writers and artists, and Brautigan (William Hjortsberg 612).

First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979


First Published
Evergreen Review, Aug. 1966, pp. 30-32, 86. Learn more

Background
Brautigan discussed the menu served to San Quentin Death Row prisoners saying, "It's so stark, so real . . . it's like a poem. This menu alone condemns our society. To feed somebody this kind of food who is already effectively dead represents all the incongruity of the whole damn thing. It's senseless."

Editor Robert Sherrill contacted Brautigan in March 1965 and saying he wanted a story about death row. Sherrill wanted a story based on facts, but told with fictional techniques and Brautigan's point of view, a funny story pointing to the absurdity rather than the horror of the lives of those livingon death row. Esquire offered US$600.00, plus expenses, plus a US$200.00 guarantee in case they refused the story. Brautigan contacted Associate Warden in charge of press relations James Park, 1 April asking if he might visit San Quentin death row. Brautigan rode a bus from San Francisco to San Quentin in Marin County. Brautigan filled fourteen pages in his notebook with notes about the condemed men and their last words. He was interested in what the men of death row ate regularly. Warden Park gave him a copy of the menu listing everything the men on death row could eat the week of 12-18 April 1965. Back in San Francisco, Brautigan shared his notes and observations with Zekial Marko (the "aspiring Hollywood scriptwriter" noted in the story), Philip Whalen, Lew Welch, and others. He incorporated several of their remarks into his final story which he sent to Sherrill before the end of the month. Brautigan included the actual menu, as a piece of found art, in the middle of his story. Sherrill edited Brautigan's story, but then declined to publish it in Esquire. Brautigan placed Sherrill's edited version in Evergreen Review the following year.



First Published
New Orleans Review, vol. 7, no. 1, 1980, p. 24.
Published by Loyola University, New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Background
Brautigan visited Japan for the third time in June-July 1978. This story was inspired by a statement from Japanese poet Shuntarõ Tanikawa regarding the fact that he lived with three people over the age of eighty: his two parents and an aunt (William Hjortsberg 612).









Background
Written in October 1978 at Brautigan's Pine Creek, Montana, ranch. Brautigan was there with his new (second) wife, Akiko (Nishizawa) Yoshimura (they were married 1 December 1977 in Port Richmond, California) and Tony Dingman, a friend since 1969 when they were introduced by Lew Welch. This story recounts Brautigan buying a German chocolate cake at the Pine Creek Methodist Church annual October auction (William Hjortsberg 618).



First Published
Earth, vol. 2, no. 1, Jan. 1971.
Learn more Titled here "Homage to Rudi Gernreich/1965."
A story about the Pet Cemetary in San Francisco's The Presidio.
Featured a photograph taken in November 1965 by Erik Weber of Brautigan looking over the pet tombstones there.

A quote by California designer Rudi Gernreich acts as a prologue to the story. "The look in clothes expresses an anti-attitude, the result of being bored . . . And so, if you're bored, you go for the outrageous gesture. Everything else seems to have lost any meaning."

Background
In 1964, perhaps bored with current clothing fashions, Gernreich introduced the topless bathing suit. Following the call for the outrageous gesture, Brautigan writes about being able to wear this small pet cemetary like a Gernreich coat and being confronted by two young men, shipping out for South Vietnam, having just recently completed their training at the nearby military base in San Francisco's Presidio. Brautigan first sent the story, with photographs by Weber, to Mademoiselle magazine, who declined publication.







Background
Brautigan visited Japan for the third time in June-July 1978. This story recounts a poem by Shuntarõ Tanikawa about unfaithful women.














First Published
San Francisco Stories 1979
Paperback, with printed wrappers; 59 pages.
Edited by George Matchette, Robert Monson, and Charles Rubin.
Published in San Francisco.
LEARN more.








First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979






First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979



Background
Brautigan visited Japan for the third time in June-July 1978. Early one morning, back from a night of drinking in Tokyo, Brautigan witnessed the Keio Plaza Hotel teletype machine coming online. He carefully recorded the machine's preliminary keystrokes (William Hjortsberg 612).

First Published
The Tokyo-Montana Express
New York: Targ Editions
First printing 21 December 1979

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