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Praise written for an individual following death often takes one of three forms: obituaries, tributes, and memoirs. Memoirs generally reflect or focus on shared time or experiences with their subject.

Many memoirs were written by friends and admirers of Richard Brautigan following his death in 1984. Some are more factual than others, but all speak to how Brautigan, his life, his writings, and his place in American literature are remembered.

This part of provides information about memoirs written of Richard Brautigan, as well as links to related information or resources.

Abbott, Keith. "In the Riffles with Richard: A Profile of Richard Brautigan." California Fly Fisher March/April 1998: 44-45, 47, 69.
Published in San Francisco, California. Edited by Richard Anderson. Profiles Brautigan from a fishing perspective. Uses material from Abbott's well-known Downstream from Trout Fishing in America and new memoirs.

READ the full text of this memoir.

—. "August Dream of Richard Brautigan 1985." Poetry Flash (193) 1989: 17.
A short memoir of an evening with Brautigan at a cafe. The full text of this memoir reads:
Richard and I were at a seaside outdoor cafe. Everything was painted white, the walls, the sidewalks and the poles holding up a yellow awning over us. He was poor, as if at the very end of his life, cadging drinks and food. After I ordered him some hot dogs, we stood at the lunch counter in the shade by a brilliant green lawn, waiting for a seaman's white mess jacket to be delivered. Richard was going on a cruise, and it was clear from his comments that this cruise was simply a metaphor for his passage through death.

When the mess jacket arrived, Richard put it on and instantly looked like a different, much younger person even though he remained his old self, quarrelsome, vain and proud. He was very sad, too, claiming the coat wasn't right. But once he had undergone the change, he couldn't go back. He began to bicker about the hot dogs—they weren't, he implied, up to his status. There was no way to tell him that he was no longer a famous writer, but a mess orderly.

A young woman came by and took me on the lawn. Once we were in the sun, her skin seemed radiant, supple and beautiful. We stood looking at Richard on a bar stool, dissatisfied, unhappy and fretful. When I made a move to go back to him, the woman brushed a finger ever so lightly on my arm, holding me back easily with a paralyzing, almost magnetic touch. I knew then she was my muse and she had other things for me to do.
Kumquat Meringue (1) April 1991: n. pg.
The literary magazine Kumquat Meringue is dedicated to the memory of Richard Brautigan.

—. "Going around with Richard Brautigan." San Francisco Chronicle. 26 March 1989: This World section: 12.

Front cover
—. Downstream From Trout Fishing in America: A Memoir of Richard Brautigan. Santa Barbara, CA: Capra Press, 1989.
ISBN 0-884-96293-8 (hard cover); 0-884-96304-7 (paperback)
A memoir of experiences shared with Brautigan in San Francisco and Montana from 1966-1984. Also includes interesting anecdotes and insights into Brautigan's life and works. Concludes with commentary on Brautigan's writing and his place in American literature.
[Brautigan's] writing has been relegated to the shadowland of popular flashes, the peculiar American graveyard of overnight sensations. When a writer dies, appreciation of his work seldom reverses field, but continues in the direction that it was headed at the moment of death, and this has been true for Brautigan. Even during Brautigan's bestseller years in the United States, critical studies of his work were few. Those there were never exerted a strong influence on the chiefs of the American critical establishment. (147)
Feedback from Keith Abbott
Keith Abbott. Email to John F. Barber, 7 February 2008.
Second Edition
Front cover Downstream from Trout Fishing in America: A Memoir of Richard Brautigan
Astrophil Press. 2009.
ISBN 978-0-9822252-2-6 (paperback)

Features much updated material, a new final chapter reflecting on Brautigan's legacy, and previously unpublished photographs by Erik Weber of Brautigan.

Online Resources
An article about this book at the Astrophil Press website.
Limited Edition
Front cover Downstream from Trout Fishing in America: A Brief Extract
Coventry, UK: Satori Books. 1998.
Limited Edition: 200 copies.
"A brief extract" from the original edition.
Front cover Brautigan, un rêveur à Babylone. Paris: 10-18, 1993.
189 pages
ISBN 2-264-01918-2
First printing September 1993. Paperback, with printed wrappers. Front cover photograph by Louis Monier.

Front cover Brautigan, un rêveur à Babylone. Trans. Nicolas Richard. Paris, L'Incertain, 1991. Paperback, with printed wrappers.
Holt, Patricia. "A Friend's Fond Memoirs of Richard Brautigan." San Francisco Chronicle 21 March 1989: E5.
As witness to the best and worst of Richard Brautigan, and of the Haight Ashbury in the late 1060s, Abbott offers a number of fresh insights on the dynamics of fame and art as seen through the lens of hippie culture.

As Abbott watches his friend slowly crack up in Bolinas and Montana, he tries to make a literary hero out of Brautigan, which is not a good idea. Yet these rare, behind-the-scenes glimpses of a truly original writer are worth the price of the book. (E5)
Ketchum, Diane. "Counterculture Classic: Richard Brautigan, A Whimsical Muse of Spirit of the '60s." The Tribune [Oakland, California] 5 April 1989: D1, D2.
Reviews Abbott's Downstream from Trout Fishing in America and Brautigan's collection of Trout Fishing in America, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, and In Watermelon Sugar. Calls Abbott's memoir "the first biography of Brautigan" (D1).

READ the full text of this review.
Moore, Steven. "Downstream from Trout Fishing in America. A Memoir of Richard Brautigan." Review of Contemporary Fiction 9(3) Fall 1988: 228.
Says Abbott's book "makes no pretense to being a definitive biography, but it is clearly the best account of Brautigan's life now available." The full text of this review reads:
The shock of hearing of Brautigan's suicide in 1984 was followed by disappointment for many in the months that followed as details of his messy, neurotic life emerged in articles in Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone. A close friend of Brautigan's since 1966, novelist Keith Abbott was as shocked as anyone at his suicide; but annoyed at the media's emphasis on the sordid elements of his life (and the continued critical neglect of Brautigan's work), Abbott set out to write a memoir that would give a more balanced account of both the life and work. He has succeeded admirably, producing a very readable account that doesn't shirk the sordid details but instead puts them into the context of Brautigan's complicated personality. This is balanced by giving equal time to Brautigan's generosity and endearing eccentricity, along with a solid appreciation of the craftsmanship beneath Brautigan's seemingly inconsequential prose. Brautigan was at his best—as a person and as a writer—before fame changed his life in the late sixties, making the first half of Abbott's memoir more enjoyable than the second half. Quite wisely, he withholds details of Brautigan's ghastly childhood (abuse at the hands of a series of stepfathers, grinding poverty, abandonment by his mother on several occasions) until the second half, thereby providing a context for Brautigan's growing pyschological problems in the late seventies. Abbott saves his literary criticism for the concluding chapter, a close reading of passages from the early works that shows how carefully Brautigan crafted his prose.

Abbott's book makes no pretense to being a definitive biography, but it is clearly the best account of Brautigan's life now available, and given its insight and empathy (even the cover pays homage to Brautigan's early photographic covers), this memoir will remain invaluable for all of us who fell under the spell of Brautigan's inimitable books. (228)
Salas, Floyd. "Downstream from Trout Fishing in America. A Memoir of Richard Brautigan." Western American Literature 24(3) November 1989: 287-288.
Reviews Keith Abbott's study of Brautigan calling it,
a moving book about an extraordinary guy whose fame became his cross. . . . an important book for a young writer to read for its lessons about the pitfalls of fame.
READ the full text of this review.
Streitfeld, David. "Hippie Poet Laureate." Washington Post Book World 9 April 1989: 15.
Calls Abbott's book "a heartfelt if uneven memoir." Notes a "distant and discontinuous feeling" to Abbott's recollections. Says Abbott is "more helpful on the heady years of fame. Then reviews Brautigan's works. Concludes by saying,
The best of Brautigan will survive, even if the man himself doesn't seem like one you'd care to bring home with you. Or find waiting for you. Once, he was waiting in a friend's house for the guy to return, and started drinking with a third friend. To pass the time, Abbott recounts, "Richard and his partner emptied the friend's refrigerator and painted the kitchen wall with mustard, mayonnaise and jam."
READ the full text of this review.
Tytell, John. "An Elongated Mark Twain." American Book Review 12(5) November-December 1990: 15.
More a biography of Brautigan than a review of Abbott's memoir. Recounts highlights of Brautigan's life. Says, of Abbott's book,
Abbott isn't really interested in writing criticism so much as in remembering a friend who seems to have been forgotten as quickly as he was once celebrated. (15)
READ the full text of this review.

—. "Brautigan in Bolinas." Exquisite Corpse 4(1) January-February 1986: 12-13.
Recounts experiences the author had with Brautigan at his Bolinas, California home. Reprised as Chapter V, "Bolinas" in Downstream From Trout Fishing in America: A Memoir of Richard Brautigan.

READ the full text of this memoir.

—. "When Fame Puts Its Feathery Crowbar under Your Rock." California Magazine April 1985: 90-94, 102-108, 126.
Subtitled "Reflections on the Life and Times of Richard Brautigan," this article recounts several experiences Abbott shared with Brautigan in California and Montana. Includes a photograph by Erik Weber of Brautigan. Used later in Downstream From Trout Fishing in America: A Memoir of Richard Brautigan.

READ the full text of this memoir.

The Best of California: Some People, Places and Insitutions of the Most Exciting State in the Nation as featured in California magazine, 1976-1986. Santa Barbara: Capra Press. 1986. 176-186.

—. "Garfish, Chili Dogs, and the Human Torch: Memories of Richard Brautigan and San Francisco, 1966." Review of Contemporary Fiction 3(3) Fall 1983: 214-219.
First publication for material that later appeared in Downstream From Trout Fishing in America: A Memoir of Richard Brautigan. Contends that "there is only one way to become well-known in America as a writer. That is to have your work represent something sociological. . . . Brautigan's work was said to represent the [sociological] chaos [in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district in 1968]." Says Brautigan was catapulted to fame by the efforts of the media to find a writer who represented, through style and subject, the developing hippie philosophy.

READ the full text of this memoir.

—. Skin and Bone. Berkeley: Tangram, 1993.
Pamphlet, 8 pages, sewn into wrappers. Limited to 150 copies. A reminiscence about an experience with Richard Brautigan and Tom McGuane in Montana. Tangram Press is run by Jerry Reddan, a printer for Andrew Hoyem.

Online Resource
"Keith Abbott: Brilliant Naropa Writing Teacher; Writer; Calligrapher" at Elephant Journal

"12 or 29 Questions: with Keith Kumasen Abbott interview by Rob McLennan
Front Cover
Allen, Beverly. My Days with Richard. Berkeley, CA: Serendipity Books, 2002.
28 pages, 9.5" x 12.5"
Published by Peter Howard at Serendipity Press.
Printed by Alastair Johnston, Poltroon Press, Berkeley, California.
200 copies printed in three versions: 170 copies in red wrappers, 15 copies in purple wrappers, and 15 copies in yellow wrappers.

Copies of the purple wrapper version are number 1-15 and signed by Peter Howard, the publisher. Copies of the yellow wrapper version are lettered I-VX and signed and corrected by Allen, signed by Alastair Johnston, the printer, and signed by Howard, the publisher.

A short memoir about the author's relationship with Richard Brautigan. They met in San Francisco, December 1969, just prior to publication of Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt. Allen posed for the front cover photograph. Includes transcripts of letters she wrote to Brautigan and three photographs of Allen by Edmund Shea, including the one used as the cover for Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt.
Akiyoshi Nosaka. "Nichibeisakegassen [Japan-USA Drinking Battle]." Bungei Shujyu December 1979.
A lengthy essay based on a two-day, one-night trip taken October 30-31 1979 by Japanese writer Nosaka and Brautigan. Nosaka records their open discussion throughout the trip. The core of their discussions was youth, their conceptions of war and death, and the identity of the writer. Bungei Shuiyu is a monthly literary magazine.

The trip, arranged by the American Centre, in Kyoto, began in Tokyo, 30 October, with the pair traveling by bullet train, "Hikari #6," to Kyoto where, at Mineyama, they transferred to a local train, "Tango #8," bound for Yonago where Nosaka delivered a lecture at the local hospital. According to Nosaka, Brautigan, referred to as "QJ" in the essay, sang "Rock around the Clock" and "Buttons and Ribbons" at a karaoke bar following Nosaka's lecture. On 31 October, they returned from Yonago to Kyoto where, perhaps shaken after witnessing a suicide at the hospital, and the train striking an 8-year-old boy at a crossing, they decided to go separate ways. They parted company on the Mineyama train platfrom. Brautigan was to deliver a lecture at the American Centre in Kyoto. Nosaka went home to Tokyo.

"Nichibeisakegassen [Japan-USA Drinking Battle]." Uncollected Novels by Akiyuki Nosaka. Volume 4. Genki-Shobo, 2010. 361-380.

Feedback from Masako Kano
Masako Kano. Email to John F. Barber, 28 September 2011.
Online Resources
Grave of the Fireflies Wikipedia entry
Aste, Virginia. "'Freedom?' Richard Brautigan's First Wife, Virginia Aste, Speaks in a New Interview." Arthur Magazine 25 December 2009.
Interview by Susan Kay Anderson
Published at Arthur magazine website

Aste recalls meeting Brautigan, the 1961 Idaho camping trip during which he wrote Trout Fishing in America, and about how Brautigan's drinking led to their separation. Along the way she provides interesting background details regarding the 1960s in San Francisco, and her life with Brautigan.

Introduction by Mike Daily who also interviewed Greg Keeler about his book Waltzing with the Captain: Remembering Richard Brautigan.

READ the full text of this interviewview.

Online Resource
Aste's interview at the Arthur magazine website
Front Cover
Brautigan, Ianthe. You Can't Catch Death: A Daughter's Memoir. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000.
176 pages; ISBN 0-312-25296-X; First printing May 2000
A memoir by Brautigan's daughter, Ianthe, about coming to grips with her father's death and memory.

The front cover photograph by Michael Abramson, taken in 1980, shows Ianthe and Brautigan sitting in front of the barn at his Pine Creek, Montana, ranch. The window of Brautigan's writing room is visible at the top of the barn.

A similar photograph, taken at the same time by Abramson, appeared in James Seymore's eulogy to Brautigan.

Proof Copy
Front cover Front cover Proof copy combined in a shrink-wrapped slipcase with Brautigan's An Unfortunate Woman, May 2000.
Slipcase edition
Front cover New York: St. Martins Press, 2000
Combined in a slipcase with Brautigan's An Unfortunate Woman and sold as a set.

Griffin paperback edition
Front Cover New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2001
240 pages; ISBN 0-312-26418-6; First printing July 2001
Paperback,with printed wrappers.

Canongate edition
Front Cover Edinburgh, Scotland: Canongate Books Ltd., 2001
224 pages; ISBN 1-841-95147-1; First printing Sept. 17, 2001
Paperback, with printed wrappers.

Rebel edition
Front Cover Edinburgh, Scotland: Rebel, 2000
224 pages; ISBN 1-841-95025-4; First printing July 1, 2000
Hard cover, with dust jacket.
Front Cover Ianthe Brautigan: Den Tod holen. Erinnerungen einer Tochter [You Can't Catch Death: A Daughter's Memoir]. Regensburg: Kartaus Verlag, 2002.
191 pages; ISBN 3-936-05400-2.

Online Resource
Der Kartaus Verlag website
Anders, Smiley. "Tragedy Prevades Brautigan's Books." Sunday Advocate [Baton Rouge, LA] June 11, 2000 Sunday Advocate Magazine: 12, 13.
Reviews both An Unfortunate Woman and You Can't Catch Death.

READ the full text of this review.
Anonymous. "Fishing for Truth: Brautigan's Only Child Confronts the Author's Death by Writing about His Life." People Weekly 53(23) 12 June 2000: 73.

READ the full text of this review.

—. "Books by the Bay." The San Francisco Chronicle 14 July, 2000: C11.
Notes that Ianthe Brautigan will give a reading the following day, 11:00 am, at San Francisco's free outdoor book fair at Pier 32.

—. "Books by the Bay." The San Francisco Chronicle 9 July, 2000: 9.
Notes that Ianthe Brautigan will give a reading Saturday, July 15, 11:00 am, at San Francisco's free outdoor book fair at Pier 32. Says she will sign copies of her book You Can't Catch Death following the reading.

—. "Literary Guide." San Francisco Chronicle 6 January 2002: 5.
Notes that Ianthe will appear the following Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, (415) 927-0960, to discuss her book.

—. "Books." Scotland on Sunday [Edinburgh, Scotland] 23 July 2000: 10.
Notes a reading by Ianthe Brautigan saying she "was warm, although her American tones may have been more resonant in a coffee house environment."

—. "You Can't Catch Death." Publishers Weekly 247(20) 15 May 2000: 101.
Richard Brautigan (1937-1984) made a big splash with Trout Fishing in America (1967), whose unbuttoned prose found a ready-made audience in the burgeoning counterculture. Brautigan completed 11 more books of fiction and nine of poetry before he took his own life; he is now remembered as a campus favorite, and a notorious drinker. His daughter Ianthe aims to supplant that portrait with a more complex and tender view; her raw, affecting and largely admiring memoir recalls "R.B." as a father and as a writer. Rather than follow his life, or her own, from the late '60s to the early '80s, Ianthe breaks her book up into short sections—some narrative, some meditative, some impressionistic—in a manner mildly reminiscent of Trout Fishing itself. In one three-page segment, the adult Ianthe tells her own daughter about Richard's suicide. In the next two pages, Ianthe recalls the bike she got for her ninth birthday. The piece after that (one paragraph) is purely lyrical: "Sometimes the love I have for my father overtakes my whole being . . ." (A series of single paragraphs, scattered throughout, describe Ianthe's dreams.) The elder Brautigan comes off as energetic, affectionate, playful, outrageous and needy—increasingly so as the '70s wore on. His death and Ianthe's progressive reactions to it dominate much of the book. Ianthe's memoir creates a vivid sense of her continuing loss and shows how she has come to terms with it. Her work should please "R.B."'s still-ardent fans, who will seek (and find) facts about a father, and leave with a new, moving knowledge of his daughter.
Bradfield, Scott. "California: It's A Jungle Out There; Books." The Times [London, England] 21 June 2000: 12.
Reviews both An Unfortunate Woman and You Can't Catch Death and . Says Ianthe's book is a "memoir of coming to terms with her father's suicide."

READ the full text of this review.
Bourgea, Yosha. "Gone Fishing: Writer Ianthe Brautigan Comes to Terms with Her Famous Father's Legacy." Sonoma County Independent September 14-20, 2000: ***?***.
Reviews both You Can't Catch Death by Ianthe Brautigan and An Unfortunate Woman. Says, of You Can't Catch Death,
It is a haunting, perceptive portrait of a man whose great talent as a writer was shadowed by alcoholism and the ghosts of his past.
READ the full text of this review.

Online Resource
Bourgea's review at the Sonoma County Independent website
Carlson, Michael. "An American Original Way Out of Style: Michael Carlson on the Literary Legacy of a Psychedelic Hero." The Financial Times 12 August 2000: 4.
Reviews both An Unfortunate Woman and You Can't Catch Death. Says You Can't Catch Death is an
interesting, but not revealing, memoir. . . . Ianthe writes awkwardly, as imprecise as her father was exact. She is often distracted by minutiae, and comes alive only when she focuses on her father's life: she writes best about her father's childhood. (4)
Concludes by saying,
These books are not the best place to begin an acquaintance with Richard Brautigan's work, but read in concert they are a moving reminder for anyone who remembers the joys of discovering the strangely skewed vision of a most misunderstood American original. It's time for a new generation to make that discovery. (4)
READ the full text of this review.
Cooper, Neil. "Innocents Enraged." Sunday Herald [Edinburgh, Scotland] 23 July 2000: 10.
Notes a reading by
Ianthe Brautigan, the daughter of novelist Richard Brautigan, who committed suicide 12 years ago. Brautigan reads movingly from her memoir, You Can't Catch Death, before selecting an excerpt from her father's final, soon-to-be published work.
Dixon, Katrina. "Paperbacks." The Scotsman [Edinburgh, Scotland] 13 October 2001: 10.
For a long time Ianthe Brautigan thought she could catch death. As the daughter of cult 1960s writer Richard Brautigan she had to contend with her father's self-destructive drinking and suicidal tendencies from an early age, and then deal with his actual suicide when she was 25. But her memoirs, written in a similar, almost naive, open, poetic-prose style to that of her father's whimsical but surreally death-filled books, celebrates her life with him as much as it attempts to come to terms with his difficulties with living. Warm-hearted and well-paced, Ianthe's memories are a tribute to her father and to her own talent.
Duffy, Dennis. "A Daughter's Fitting Rescue." National Post 203(2) 17 June 2000: E13.
Reviews both An Unfortunate Woman by Brautigan and You Can't Catch Death.

Says, of You Can't Catch Death
Alcoholics leave their children twice: When they move into the slow suicide the bottle offers, and when they make it to the big lonely they've been lurching toward. They turn their children first into parents, and then into searchers. Ianthe Brautigan's memoir replicates that search for the absent dad, making for a wrenching read.

Swamps of sentimentality and self-pity lurk in material like this. Ianthe Brautigan passes them by, focusing instead on yearning for a union lost almost as soon as it began. Of course she quotes Faulkner, so lucid on the past's inescapability, so mired in booze himself. Ianthe succeeds finally in meeting the grandmother whose identity and memory her father sternly concealed. She makes it into no great climax, however, but simply another way-station on a journey never quite to be completed.
READ the full text of this review.
Ford, Rory. "Injustice For All As Jailhouse Is Rocked." Evening News [Edinburgh, Scotland] 18 July 2000: 22.
Ianthe Brautigan read from her autobiographical memoir, You Can't Catch Death, about her relationship with her father, cult writer Richard Brautigan.

There was a very real danger that Brautigan's issues with her deceased father, who took his own life, would seem unimportant when compared with the here and now of people languishing in jail [the subject of the first half of the evening]. Fortunately she is such a lucid and honest writer that this was not a concern.
Gard, Andrew. "Drama of Doomed Author Redeems Pedestrian Writing." The Plain Dealer 16 July 2000: 12.
Reviews both An Unfortunate Woman and You Can't Catch Death saying
neither has much to offer. . . . [But both] draw their strength from the circumstances under which they were created. Neither is particularly well written, neither contains any real insight. But within each lies the tragic drama of a doomed man, and it is this that redeems them both.
Says You Can't Catch Death is
loosely written, with only a semblance of structure or organization, it is a collection of memories, dreams and vignettes from both the past and present. Again, it is only the aura of tragedy and the reader's sympathy for the author that hold the book together.

Ianthe remembers her father as two different people, one playful and doting, the other depressed and usually drunk. . . . Much of "You Can't Catch Death" deals with Ianthe's attempt to reconcile these two personalities into a single man, and in so doing to understand his suicide. (12)
READ the full text of this review.
Gumbell, Andrew. "Trip of a Lifetime with the Ghost of a Dead Father; Richard Brautigan's Books —Once Described as 'Mark Twain on Acid'—Were Cult Classics for the Hippie generation. Then in the Eighties, Overwhelmed by Alcohol Abuse and Disillusionment, He Put a Gun To His Head and Shot Himself. Now His Daughter Has Written a Memoir of the Man who Haunts Her Life." The Independent Sunday [London, England] 16 July 2000: 1.

READ this review.
Hall, Simon. "Ghost Laid to Rest." The Herald [Glasgow, Scotland] 20 July 2000: 22.
Reviews both An Unfortunate Woman and You Can't Catch Death.

Says, of You Can't Catch Death
Ianthe has emerged from the debris of her father's suicide to write a memoir which charts the writer's life and her own subsequent journey towards healing. Her stated wish is to ''break the silence and navigate suicide''. What emerges is a frank and compelling narrative of great integrity which details fascinatingly the minutiae of her father's life. . . . No details are spared in this account, which, on balance, remains remarkably positive. There is absolutely no self-indulgence in You Can't Catch Death, only a desire to lay Richard Brautigan's ghost to rest with dignity. (22)
READ the full text of this review.
Hamlin, Andrew. "Two New Books Explore the Enigma of Brautigan." The Seattle Times 23 July 2000: L8.
Reviews both An Unfortunate Woman and You Can't Catch Death. Says,
Brautigan's daughter wraps [the tropes that marked Brautigan's work] around her like a favorite Sunday sweater as she charts the vortexes in her father's life, and the one he created in hers. . . . If Ianthe learned to mourn her father as a lost son, perhaps her father mourns, through the unfortunate woman, the mother he ran away from, the grandmother Ianthe eventually finds. (L8)
READ the full text of this review.
Harrington, Michael. "'An Unfortunate Woman: A Journey'; 'You Can't Catch Death: A Daughter's Memoir'." The Philadelphia Inquirer 31 August 2000: **?**.
Originally syndicated Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service 30 August 2000: K2502
Reviews both An Unfortunate Woman and You Can't Catch Death.
You Can't Catch Death, Ianthe Brautigan's earnest, harrowing memoir of her father, is mostly valuable for its details of his life.
READ the full text of this review.

"Remembering the Troubled Man behind Richard Brautigan Craze." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 13 September 2000: CUE Section, 03E.
Edits and retitles 12 September 2000 review in Chicago Tribune.

READ the full text of this review.

"Autobiography Could Lead To Revisiting Brautigan's Work." Chicago Tribune 12 September 2000: Section 5, 3.
Edits and retitles original 30 August 2000 review in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Jackson, Mick. "Books: Eternal Hippy: Mick Jackson on Richard Brautigan: An Unfortunate Woman, You Can't Catch Death by Ianthe Brautigan." The Guardian [Manchester, England] 5 August 2000: Saturday section, 8.
Reviews both An Unfortunate Woman and You Can't Catch Death.

READ the full text of this review.

Online Resource
Jackson's review at the The Guardian website
Johnson, Dennis. "Johnson: The Avant-Gardist's Daughter." Online Athens 22 July 2000: Online
Interviews Ianthe regarding her book You Can't Catch Death. Mentions Brautigan's An Unfortunate Woman. Ianthe said she hoped her book would work in tandem with her father's. ''The cool thing about Richard Brautigan is he just did what he did. He was never pontificating. He went his own way for a long time, and that gives me courage.''

Online Resource
Johnson's review at the Online Athens website
Keefer, Bob. "Doubt Fishing in America: Beat Author's Daughter on A Quest To Understand Richard Brautigan's Death." The Register-Guard 28 May 200: 5G, 6G.
An article about Ianthe visiting Eugene, Oregon, "looking for ghosts" and promoting her book.

READ the full text of this review.
Kippen, David. "Quoth the Traven: More Musings on Mysterious Writer." San Francisco Chronicle 21 September 2002: D4.
Notes that Ianthe Brautigan will appear at the Third Annual Sonoma County Book Fair on this date, ostensibly to promote her book.
Marshall, John. "New on the Bookshelves for Brautigan Fans." Seattle Post-Intelligencer 19 May 2000: 28.

READ this review.

Online Resource
Marshall's review at the Seattle-Post Intelligencer Reporter website

Marshall, John.[?] "Readings and Signings." Seattle Post-Intelligencer 19 May 2000: 28.
The daughter of writer Richard Brautigan, Ianthe Brautigan reads from her memoir, "You Can't Catch Death," and also from her father's newly discovered last novel, "An Unfortunate Woman," 5 p.m., The Elliott Bay Book Co., 101 S. Main St. 206-624-6600.
—. "Readings and Signings." Seattle Post-Intelligencer 12 May 2000: 26.
Notes that Ianthe Brautigan will read the following Thursday.
Brautigan is the daughter of local writer Richard Brautigan, who committed suicide in 1984. She reads from her memoir, "You Can't Catch Death," and also from her father's newly discovered last novel, "An Unfortunate Woman," 7 p.m., University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E. 206-634-3400.
McAllister, Carol A. "You Can't Catch Death: A Daughter's Memoir." Library Journal 125(12) July 2000: 90.
The full text of this review reads
[Ianthe] Brautigan's father, Richard Brautigan, was a popular, controversial West Coast writer whose offbeat novels and poems appealed to the young, countercultural activists of the late Sixties and early Seventies. An alcoholic, he committed suicide in 1984 adt the age of 49. His daughter, an only child, who was 24 at the time, was overwhelmed with guilt. In this memoir, she examines her conflicting feelings about her much loved but difficult father and the impact his death had on her life. Her intimate account is honest and bittersweet, filled with details of her father's small kindnesses mingled with the grief and helplessness she often felt when he was too drunk to care for her. Brautigan's book is a tribute to a gifted, troubled parent and a moving narrative of the healing process of a suicide survivor. Recommneded for both public and academic libraries.
Parkenham, Michael. "Recalling Richard Brautigan through a Daughter's Pain." Baltimore Sun 23 April 2000: 11F.
Ianthe Brautigan, has come forward with a book about her father—or, more truly, about her own long agonies and too-occasional joys.
Pohl, R. D. "Brautigan's Last Book, Daughter's Memoir Cast Light on a Dark Subject." The Buffalo News 1 October 2000: F7.
Reviews both An Unfortunate Woman and You Can't Catch Death. Calls You Can't Catch Death
a young woman's memoir about her own grief and what went on inside herself while she dealt with the mysteries of her father's life and suicide. . . . [The reader is left with the conclusion that] in the absence of other stabilizing forces in his life, Brautigan came to see Ianthe as his lifeline and connection to some semblance of family life. (F7)
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Reynolds, Susan Salter. "Discoveries: You Can't Catch Death." Los Angeles Times 4 June 2000: L11.
The full text of this review reads:
Named for a mountain violet in a poem by Shelley, Ianthe was 24 when her father, Richard Brautigan (author of 11 novels, most famously, "Trout Fishing in America," nine books of poetry and one collection of short stories), shot himself at 49. Ianthe had lived through decades of his drinking and several instances when he treatened to kill himself. She had begged him not to; she had been, sometimes, his proclaimed reason for living. In spite of his sketchy fathering, she loved him like the daughter of a king: his physical grace, his unusual appearance, his humor, his power. Brautigan and his wife divorced when she was 3 and Ianthe was raised by her father; in his Geary Street apartment in San Francisco, in Bolinas and finally on his Montana rance, where drinking took over his life. To his daughter, he claimed his binges were the only way to clear his mind of cobwebs. Ianthe never figures out why her father killed himself; "You Can't Catch Death" is not a book of answers. You feel you've lost a son, a canny therapist tells her, and now, finally, he is safe.
Also reviews separately An Unfortunate Woman.
Front Cover Ring, Kevin. "Richard Brautigan." Beat Scene 37: 16-18.
Reviews both An Unfortunate Woman and You Can't Catch Death. Of You Can't Catch Death, Ring says Ianthe Brautigan
writes like her father, passages are succinct, cryptic even, it is a book as much about herself as it is about this cult American writer who happens to be her father, she confesses to concealing who her father was to avoid the inevitable questions—questions that will stir up the unease she feels about her past.

Concludes with a short interview with Ianthe, conducted during her book promotional tour of the United Kingdom.

READ the full text of this review.

Online Resource
Beat Scene magazine website
Seaman, Donna. "When the Trout Stream Runs Dry." The Booklist 96(19/20) 1-15 June 2000: 1835.
Reviews both An Unfortunate Woman and You Can't Catch Death. A publication notice appears on page 1852 and refers readers to "boxed review on p. 1835."

READ the full text of this review.
Snyder, George. "Hot Dates/North Bay." San Francisco Chronicle 15 September 2001: 1.
Notes that Ianthe Brautigan will appear at the inaugural Sonoma County Book Fair the following weekend.
Terrill, Mark. "Beat Bios." Rain Taxi Winter 2000/2001. Online Edition.
Reviews four new books about Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Paul Bowles, and Richard Brautigan. Says
Disparate as their visions and methods may have been, all left their unique and indelible signatures on the post-WWII literary landscape through a series of highly influential works. [Ianthe Brautigan's memoir is a] highly personal and subjective portrait, which was obviously a necessary and cathartic step in the process of coming to terms with her father's suicide. . . . Ianthe Brautigan's warm and at times moving memoir is a compelling read, but really only whets the appetite. In terms of altering the face of American literature, Brautigan is absolutely and unquestioningly on equal footing with Kerouac, Bukowski and Bowles, and is worthy of the same critical assessment. The fact that his work may not have received the same recognition and critical acclaim as these other writers probably lies in the fact that his work actually had more in common with postmodernism than with the Beats or the flower-power culture of the sixties. It's only a matter of time until Brautigan's recognition as a true genius is finally realized.
Online Resource
Terrill's review at the Rain Taxi website
Uschuk, J. "St. Martin's Offers Two Perspectives On The Late Richard Brautigan: His and Hers." Tucson Weekly 22-28 June 2000: 28.
Reviews both An Unfortunate Woman and You Can't Catch Death. Says, of You Can't Catch Death, "Ianthe Brautigan's straightforward writing style creates a work without self-pity that deftly substantiates her pain."

READ the full text of this review.

Online Resource
Uschuk's review at the Tucson Weekly website
Ianthe Brautigan was interviewed by Dan Brodnitz 31 March 2008 ("An Interview with Ianthe Brautigan") for his Cecil Vortex website.

The focus of this interview was Ianthe's approach to the creative process, working on her memoir You Can't Catch Death, and some memories of her father and his thoughs on the creative life.

Online Resource
"An Interview with Ianthe Brautigan" at the Cecil Vortex website
Bishoff, Don. "Author's Life Was Shaped in Eugene." The Register-Guard 25 August 1993: 1B, 2B.
An article about author William R. Hjortsberg's trip to Eugene, Oregon, researching information about Brautigan's early life there for a forthcoming biography.

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Blei, Norbert. "In Memoriam: Richard Brautigan." Milwaukee Journal 11 November 1984: E9.
". . . [H]e was a writer in his time who attracted considerable attention. [H]e was our [Guillaume] Appolinaire ([Charles] Baudelaire, [Arthur] Rimbaud) and then some. [e.e.] Cummings' whimsy. [William] Saroyan's mustache. The shadow of [Maxwell] Bodenheim. Variations on [Kurt] Vonnegut. He was all your eggs in one basket. . . .Wizard of weird metaphor. Savant of smiling similes. . . .You won't rest in peace, Richard. Promise?
READ the full text of this article.

Online Resource
Blei's memoir and other thoughts at the Bashõ's Road website
Bond, Peggy Lucas. "Richard Brautigan 1935-1984." St. Petersburg Times 2 June 1985: 7D.
Speaks of personal connections to Brautigan's works, as well as the author himself. Provides a nice overview of Brautigan's time in Montana. Concludes by saying,
Maybe his death can be best explained in his own words:
When dreams wake
Life ends.
Then dreams are gone.
Life ends.
READ the full text of this memoir.
Brissie, Carol. "Memories of Rich." Christian Science Monitor 1 February 1985, Sec. B: 2.
Recalls experiences shared with Brautigan. Says Brautigan "resembled his writing: often gentle and beautiful, sometimes harsh, usually whimsical, and always imaginative. . . . And that's how I shall remember Richard."

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Brissie worked with Helen Brann, Brautigan's literary agent, in New York.
Caen, Herb. "What Goes On." San Francisco Chronicle 30 October 1984: 21.
The full text of this memoir reads:
Another footnote to a headline: It now develops that poet-novelist Richard Brautigan killed himself with a Smith & Wesson .44 magnum he borrowed last March—not for that purpose—from Jimmy Sakata, owner of the Cho-Cho Japanese restaurant on Kearny, for years a favorite Brautigan hangout. "He said he liked to have a gun around," recalls Jimmy, "and would return it in a few months. Last time I saw him, about a month ago, he said he wouldn't be around for awhile. 'too much work to do.' He was in such a turmoil—the divorce, the publishing problems. I guess now I'll get my gun back."
Caen, Herb. "Here Today." San Francisco Chronicle 29 October 1984: 17.
The full text of this memoir reads:
Richard Brautigan, the late novelist-poet, was a man of delightful whimsy. The first time I met him, he was standing at a Powell St. cable car stop, handing out seed packets on which he had written poems, a different one on each packet. "Here," he'd say, handing one to a bemused passenger, "please plant this book." . . . Over the weekend, he was still very much a topic in the local literary world. There appears little doubt now that he shot himself—his long-dead body was found Thurs. in his Bolinas home—but whether he was depressed or drunk or both was a subject of long conjecture among his peers. "Richard's problem," said one writer, "was that his readers grew up but he didn't." "A guy who drinks that much shouldn't keep a gun around the house," said another. "Nobody should keep a gun around the house. Many's the night I was drunk and depressed enough to shoot myself." . . . "Last time I ran into him at Enrico's," said a third, "he was way down because nobody wanted to publish him anymore," which brings up an irony. His N. Y. agent, not having heard from Richard for an alarmingly long time, hired the S. F. private eye who found Brautigan dead. The agent had news that might have saved Brautigan's life: an offer of a two-book contract.
Carpenter, Donald. "My Brautigan: A Portrait from Memory." Unpublished manuscript.
Don Carpenter often said he considered Richard Brautigan his best friend. This poignant memoir recounts their first meeting and several shared experiences.

READ the full text of this memoir.

Online Resource
Carpenter's memoir at the Don Carpenter website
Chappel, Steve. "Brautigan in Montana." San Francisco Chronicle Review 2 November 1980: 4-5.
Recounts fishing with Brautigan on the Yellowstone River, in Montana, and an evening drinking and talking in Brautigan's kitchen. Features several interesting quotes from Brautigan regarding his life and writing.

READ the full text of this memoir.
Chatham, Russell. "Dust to Dust." Dark Waters. Livingston, MT: Clark City Press, 1988. 28-34.
A book of essays detailing fishing, drinking, and eating experiences enjoyed by Chatham and his friends, including Brautigan. Chatham builds a discussion of guns, hunting, and machismo around memories of Brautigan in relation to these topics. He says Brautigan did not hunt, and was not macho but fragile and sensitive. A photograph of Chatham and Brautigan fishing Armstrong Spring Creek, Montana, illustrates this essay.

READ the full text of this memoir.

"Dust to Dust." Bolinas Hearsay News Circa 2000.
Chronicle Staff, The and the Associated Press. "Brautigan Dead: Poet-Author Who Had Ranch Near Livingston Found in Calif. Home." Bozeman Daily Chronicle 26 October 1984: 1, 2.
Incorporates Associated Press material and quotes from Bozeman residents who knew Brautigan.

READ the full text of this memoir.

"Poet-Writer Brautigan Found Dead in Home." Bozeman Daily Chronicle Extra 31 October 1984: 6.
Omits last eight paragraphs of original.
Condon, Garret. "Locals Remember Brautigan in '60s." Hartford Courant 3 November 1984: D1, D8.
Three Hartford residents remember Brautigan.

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Cook, Stephen. "A Weekend of Memories of Brautigan." San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle 28 October 1984: A1, A24.
Written two days after Brautigan's death was first announced, this article quotes extensively from interviews with Tom McGuane, Becky Fonda, Curt Gentry, and Don Carpenter, all of whom note Brautigan's talents as a writer, and troubled last days. They agree that Brautigan was undone by lost fame. The last they saw of Brautigan was 13 Sept. 1984, in Deno & Carlo, a North Beach bar located at 728 Vallejo Street.

READ the full text of this memoir.
Delattre, Pierre. "Brautigan Done For." Episodes. St. Paul, MN: Graywolf Press, 1993. 53-54.
A distilled memoir of Brautigan. Delattre remembers Brautigan's fishing talents, his ability to "get drunk on anything," his inspiration to write Trout Fishing in America from immediate experience rather than memory of the past, and his comments about writing.

The full text of this memoir reads:
I never knew as great a fisherman as Richard. One time we parked along a little stream. I opened the back for the station wagon and got to work preparing my gear. By the time I had finished selecting a fly and tying it on, Richard was already trudging back with his limit in the creel. He gave half to me and we waded upstream until we came to an encampment of picnickers. A mother and three kids were splashing in the water. Brautigan bet me he could cast his fly right into the middle of those people and pull out a trout. He did, and so deftly they didn't even notice. Brautigan had another talent. He could get drunk on anything. In our tent that night, he got drunk on water. He began to lament about his trout fishing book. He just couldn't get the magic down on paper. He read me some of the stories and asked for a frank opinion. "Boring", I confessed. Then one afternoon back in North Beach we went into a hardware store so that he could buy some chicken wire for his bird cage. Suddenly he seized the pen from my pocket, the notebook from my shoulder bag, ran out and over to a park bench, and started to scribble a story about a man who finds a used trout stream in the back of a hardware store. The next day, we stopped to chat with a legless-armless man on a rollerboard who sold pencils. Brautigan called him "Trout Fishing in America Shorty" and wrote a story about him. From then on, trout fishing ceased to be a memory of the past, but the theme of immediate experience and Brautigan's book made him a rich and famous writer. He didn't handle this well and finally blew his brains out while working on a novel in his Bolinas cabin. I don't know what was bothering him, but here's a possible clue: The last time I saw him, we were walking past the middle room of his house. There was a table in there with a typewriter on it. "Quiet", he whispered, pushing me ahead of him into the kitchen. "My new novel's in there. I kind of stroll in occasionally, write a few quick paragraphs, and get out before the novel knows what I'm doing. If novels ever find out you're writing them, you're done for." (53-54)
Anonymous. "Episodes." Publishers Weekly 240(19) 10 May 1993: 67-68.
Poet, street minister, traveler and lover, Delattre (Tales of a Dalai Lama) has lived a rich life, and he recounts it in 92 two-page vignettes. Though the episodes stand on their own and Delattre encourages browsing, some readers may wish for a more developed narrative. Still, he tells amusing tales about his childhood and about people like the pest who prompted his friends to hold a fund-raising "Get Rid of Richard Night." He opened "an experimental coffeehouse ministry" in San Francisco and, as "the beatnik priest," was featured in Time and Newsweek. In Mexico, he barely escaped from two thugs and also met an Aztec-featured shoeshine boy who read Proust with his Francophile sailor father. Delattre married, divorced, found new love, studied and taught yoga, believes in UFOs and reports having a spontaneous orgasm after viewing a full moon. He has encountered the famous: he recalls concert promoter Bill Graham's beginnings, how author Richard Brautigan "could get drunk on anything" and how Neal Cassady died with Delattre's address in his pocket. In reaction to the latter news, Delattre decided, "I wanted to burn a slow flame, and last a long time." (67-68)
Donovan, Brad. "Food Stamps for the Stars." Firestarter June 1996: 4-5.
Accounts of parties at Brautigan's Pine Creek, Montana, home are legendary: movie stars, gun practice off the back porch, drinking, lots of drinking, wild conversations, and spaghetti. Although tongue-in-cheek, Donovan, a fishing friend of Brautigan's, captures the wide-open spirit associated with a Brautigan party.

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Dorn, Edward. "In Memoriam: Richard Brautigan." The Denver Post Empire Magazine May 19, 1985: 22-23, 25, 27.
Edward Dorn says there is no history of morbidity in Brautigan's writing and that he saw himself and often referred to himself as a humorist.

READ the full text of this memoir.

This Recording 19 November 2009.
Retitled: "The Dreamer" and adds various photographs not included in the original. Read online at the This Recording website

Way West: Stories, Essays, and Verse Accounts: 1963-1993. Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow Press, 1993. 205-212.
Featured a companion article by Jennifer Dunbar Dorn titled "The Perfect American" (see below).

Exquisite Corpse 4(1-2) January-February 1986: 13.
Retitled: "Richard Brautigan: Free Market Euthanasia." Edited by Andrei Codrescu. Published by the English Department at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Featured a companion article by Jennifer Dunbar Dorn titled "The Perfect American" (see below).

Burkman, Greg. "Way West: A Roundup of Stories, Essays and Verse Accounts, 1963-1993." Booklist 90(4) 15 October 1993: 409.
From its scathing satires of academics, Republicans. and a new West "shining its noble light on Real Estate" to its immaculately researched, heartbreaking observations concerning the situations of Native Americans and its unsentimentalized memoriam to Richard Brautigan, Way West is a ghastly, funny tour de force rodeo of cultural clowns, moral imperatives, and all manner of riff-raff. Way out. (409)
Dorn, Jennifer Dunbar. "The Perfect American." The Denver Post Empire Magazine May 19, 1985: 23, 31.
A companion article to Edward Dorn's "In Memoriam: Richard Brautigan" both in this magazine and Dorn's Way West: Stories, Essays, and Verse Accounts: 1963-1993.

READ the full text of this memoir.

Feedback from Jennifer Dunbar Dorn
Jennifer Dunbar Dorn. Email to John F. Barber, 7 March 2002.
Foote, Jennifer. "An Author's Long Descent. Richard Brautigan: The Troubled Cult Hero and His Path to Suicide." Washington Post 23 January 1985: D8-D9.
"Reprinted from yesterday's early editions." Recounts Brautigan's literary career through the rememberances of friends. Provides biographical and bibliographical details.

READ the full text of this memoir.
Fujimoto, Kasuko. Richard Brautigan. Shinchosha, 2002. 224-229.
Fujimoto, translator of several of Brautigan's books in Japanese, wrote this memoir, which has not been translated into English. She included a short memoir by Takako Shiina, owner of "The Cradle" Bar and long time friend to Brautigan, who called her "my Japanese sister." This translation was provided by Masako Kano.
According to "Tokyo Diary," it seems it was June 1st, 1976 when Richard was taken to my shop "The Cradle" for the very first time. I had not read his books, and therefore had no previous fixed images of him. We continued to drink together after all the guests left from the bar that night. I felt that Richard was very pure and honest man. I also felt that I did not need to worry about how he would think of me or whatever I said to him. That was my strong first impression of Richard. The last time I saw him was May 11th, 1984. I kept that first impression of him until that last day.

I never thought of him as a visitor. He stayed at the Keio Plaza Hotel for the half of the tariff thanks to my friend’s introduction. Usually he spent the afternoon at the café in Harajuku, and at the night came to my "The Cradle." We often traveled together,visiting my friends and my family, and I took him to the concerts, the theaters, and the opening parties for solo exhibitions. Of course, the bars we went together to drink thorough the nights, were numerous. So, I think that he spent his time in Tokyo not as a tourist, but as someone closer to the people who live there. When he woke up, without exception, he called to greet me,then when he was about to sleep, he called me and reported what had happened to him throughout that day.

The playwright Ken Miyamoto told Richard, "I try to speak in broken English when I go to U.S.A, you have to speak in Japanese in Japan." "I am trying to speak Japanese, but could not do it," Brautigan told me sadly. He did his best, but never mastered speaking Japanese until the end.

In the beginning Richard asked me to become his lover, but I could not really feel romantically involved with him. "Lovers and a couple may separate, but the brother and sister are together for life, why not become brothers, shall we ?" I said. So after that, he started to call me "my sister."

I paid all his expenses while he was in Tokyo: the travels, the tickets for theaters,the food and drinks at the bars we visited together, and of course, never asked him to pay for the food and drinks at my bar "The Cradle." To me, that was very natural thing to do. I gave him, the glasses, the plates, the knife and the folks to use at his hotel room, and prepared his supper at "The Cradle" and let him bring the boiled eggs and the cans of tuna for his breakfast at the hotel.

When he came to Tokyo for the last time, he got stuck with the payment for the debt of three months tariff to the Keio Plaza Hotel because he said he could not receive the cabled money he needed. So, I borrowed the money to pay off his debt. He asked me, "If anything happens to me, shall I write an I.O.U. ?" I said "Nothing will happen, so I do not need such a thing." After he returned to USA, he never brought up the topic of the money between us during our conversations over the phone, but I felt strongly that Richard was feeling very bad about the fact that I had to borrow the money for him and wanted to pay back as soon as possible. So my conviction was that he would have never ever committed suicide before returning the money to me. It could not be.(1)

Once, while I was busily working inside the counter table at "The Cradle" and came to Richard who was drinking in the same seat in the corner. He said, "My sister, if you want me to die for you, I will die for you immediately."

"Silly thing you say. I would not be happy at all by you dying for me !" I laughed.

But he said to me again in a deeply thoughtful way, that if they asked him to, he could immediately die for three people: Norman Mailer, Ianthe and I.

While he was writing "Tokyo-Montana Express," I was pregnant with my daughter Mioh. But we went out together even with my big bump. We went to Amishiro to send the letter inside the barrel of sake into the river, went to fish the cultured trouts in the trout farm at the bottom of Mount Fuji. We invited the movie director, TakeoUrayama and the actor Chojyurou Kawaharazaki to a big sake banquet with my father at my family home. We dined with Junnosuke Yoshiyuki at the traditional restaurant "Hamasaku." I went to help him register his foreigner’s identity card at the municipal office. That summer was an heatwave and because I walked around so much for Richard, my baby was born much earlier than the due date. I said jokingly to Richard, "Because of you, my baby was prematurely born !" He then bought the same weight of kilograms of American Cherries as the weight my baby was supposed to have had on the due date. He gave me this as a present along with a few baby clothes wrapped like the bouquet of flowers, adding some more grams of "ungained" weight of my baby.

He was so very fond of my daughter, Mioh. When she was so crazy about E.T., he brought every kind of E.T. character toys from USA. It was so fun to observe the two, without any verbal understanding of each other, playing so happily, shouting "E.T.! E.T.!"

I only once visited USA during eight years of knowing Richard. He said, "You took care of me all the time when I was in Japan. I will take care of you when you come to USA." When I arrived in Los Angels, Richard welcomed me with a bouquet of flowers. The next day, we had lunch at a restaurant where he introduced me the actor Harry Dean Stanton. Richard said to me, "While you are in Los Angeles, Harry Dean is yours." The three of us had great fun together that night. I went back to my hotel room at the Sunset Marquise Hotel, and found Harry Dean asleep naked on the double bed in which I was supposed to sleep. That was what Richard meant. I recognized then, but did not feel like slipping in next to him on the bed, so I slept on the sofa that night. When I woke up next morning and went to the window, Richard waved his hand with his big smily face across the swimming pool from his hotel room window.

He arranged a hotel for me and the theater plays during the time I stayed in New York City. And in San Francisco, he hosted wonderful dinner banquet with twenty of his close friends. We visited his friend’s house. We went to his Bolinas house. We went for a walk along the beach. Everything was so joyous. Drunk merrily together we came back, and there was the man waiting for me wearing a crown costume and he invited me to dance with him, and of course it was Richard's idea to surprise me.

When he was in USA, mostly we talked on the phone rather than exchanging letters. But I found one letter dated August 11th, 1984(2).

August 11th, 1984

Dear Takako,


I met Tom Rady on the street in San Francisco a few days ago, and he told me a long and fun greeting from "The Cradle."

I continue what I do. Work.

This morning, I saw two seals in the sea about 50 meters above the beach. If E.T. saw them, she would be pleased. The two seals came together, and talked much in the seals’ manner. Then they swam away in different directions. They were jumping in the water and stayed in the area for a long time, so I guess they were hunting for breakfast. They passed the morning with fun.

They looked beautiful to my eyes. The Pacific Ocean bore a comfortable mist, and the air carried a fresh nice fragrance. I was thinking about E.T. How much I love her, how much I love you.


P.S: This letter, I will post today, Monday [August 13th, 1984]. Last weekend I finished the draft of the script of my first movie. It’s a Western Movie! I want you to tell your gentleman in Tokyo who loves B Western movies that I was thinking about the content for him to watch and to enjoy when I was writing this script.(3)

P.S: 2
I got the telephone…451-868-24xx

Translator’s notes
1 This means Takako clearly believed that Richard’s death was an accident, not suicide. I found the blog of an editor who knew both Akiko and Takako, and wrote about Takako talking to him that Richard "often played the russian roulette game" when he got drunk at "The Cradle" bar. Does this mean that Richard carried a gun in Tokyo? In my faded memories, I only recall he was fascinated with the scene of Russian roulette in the movie "Apocalypse Now."

2 This is the last letter Richard sent to Takako. "Your gentleman" means her boyfriend at that time. "E.T." refers to her daughter, Mioh. The last letter to me [Masako Kano] was dated 12th of August, then post scripted by hand, telling me that he would come back to Japan later in the fall. He said he received my card telling him I would not coming to USA on the 13th (a little lie actually, for I went to Pheonix on a business trip in September). So I think he posted the two letters on the same day, the 13th of August.

3 If this is true, this is a movie script different from the one co-written with Brad Donovan.
Hayward, Claude. "Glimpses of Richard Brautigan in the Haight-Ashbury." Richard Brautigan: Essays on the Writings and Life. Ed. John F. Barber. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2007. 113-120.
Claude Hayward recounts the formation of The Communicaton Company with Chester Anderson, printing early broadside poems for Brautigan, as well as All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, and Brautigan's role in the Invisible Circus.

READ the full text of this memoir.

Feedback from Claude Hayward
Claude Hayward. Email to John F. Barber, 16 December 2003.
Heilig, Steve. "Ianthe Brautigan Interview." Bolinas Hearsay News 28 January 2004: 1-4.
An interview on the occasion of Brautigan's birthday.

READ the full text of this interview.

Front Cover Beat Scene 45 Summer 2004: 45-47.

Online Resource
Beat Scene magazine website
Hershiser, Deanna. "From a Damselfly's Notebook." Rosebud (51) October 2011: 76.
An essay by Hershiser about her father, Peter Webster, and his fishing adventures with Richard Brautigan.

READ the full text of this essay.

Online Resources
Visit the Rosebud website
Hjortsberg, William. "The Bard of Rivers and Bars: Richard Brautigan and 'The Montana Gang'." Big Sky Journal Arts Issue 2002: 72-78.
Three essays excerpted from Hjortsberg's forthcoming biography of Brautigan. Features several photographs by Erik Weber.
Keefer, Bob and Quil Dawning. "Beauty, Pain and Watermelon Sugar." The Register-Guard 30 January 2000: 1H, 2H.
An accounting of the authors' search for Brautigan's ghost in Eugene, Oregon.

READ the full text of this article.
Front Cover
Keeler, Greg. Waltzing with the Captain: Remembering Richard Brautigan. Boise, ID: Limberlost Press, 2004.
A collection of stories about experiences shared with Richard Brautigan from 1978 to 1984.
Illustrated with photographs and Keeler's own cartoon drawings.
Keeler recalls Brautigan saying he felt split in two,
that there was the Richard Brautigan, the famous author, and there was Richard, the guy who lived day to day, the guy sitting in the car next to me who had to deal with the public's responses to the famous author." These stories attempt to get at both Brautigan's through their accounting of funny as well as poignant experiences Keeler shared with Brautigan. . . . I'm just hoping to give another perspective . . . and try to get a more complete picture of the leviathan that posed as the funny, disturbing, cruel, lovable and, especially, vulnerable man who rode in the car with me. (1-3)
Online Resources
Information about Keeler's book at the Limberlost Press website

Keeler, an English professor at Montana State Universitiy in Bozeman, Montana, maintains quotes and letters by Brautigan, as well as his own stories and poems about Brautigan, at his Troutball website. Also features sound files of an interview conducted by FM Tokyo and facsimilies of ten letters written by Brautigan to Keeler. Much of this material is collected in Keeler's book of Brautigan stories, Waltzing with the Captain: Remembering Richard Brautigan.

Feedback from Greg Keeler
Greg Keeler. Email to John F. Barber, 18 February 2002.
Front Cover Keeler, Greg. "Waltzing with the Captain: Remembering Richard Brautigan." Beat Scene 45 Summer 2004: 42-44. An interview with Greg Keeler conducted by Beat Scene editor Kevin Ring. Discusses Keeler's relationship with Brautigan and his new collection of stories about Brautigan.

Online Resource
Beat Scene magazine website

Front Cover —. "Stories about Richard Brautigan."Beat Scene 43 Summer 2003: 16-24. Excerpts from Keeler's memoir, Waltzing with the Captain Front cover photographic portrait of Brautigan wearing a sheepskin by Christopher Felver that originally appeared in Felver's book, The Poet Exposed. Several publicity photographs of Brautigan throughout the article, most taken from his books. Also includes Jack Kerouac, the Diggers, Charles Bukowski, Kirby Doyle, Ted Joans, Jack Hirschman, KULCHUR magazine, defining Beat moments, etc.

Online Resource
Beat Scene magazine website

Greg Keeler An interview with Greg Keeler was published on Monday, 19 December 2005 at the "Mick O'Grady" website maintained by Mike Daily.

Daily also wrote the introduction to an interview by Susan Anderson with Virginia Aste, Brautigan's first wife.

Online Resource
Interview with Keeler at Daily's website
Hepworth, James R. "Waltzing with the Captain: Remembering Richard Brautigan." The Bloomsbury Review. 24 (4) July-August 2004: ***?***.
Says Keeler's admiration is the driving force behind this memoir of Brautigan, a "kooky and gentle recollection of a genuine American character, one actually somewhat at odds with the popular image we have of Richard Brautigan as 'the bard of the flower children.'"

READ the full text of this review.

Online Resource
Hepworth's review as a .pdf file at The Bloomsbury Review archive website
Hodder, Bruce. "Waltzing with the Captain: Remembering Richard Brautigan." Outlaw Review Supplement. **?***.

READ this review.
Nicosia, Gerald. "Not Trout Fishing with Brautigan; Memoir Recalls Adventures with the Writer during his Montana Years." San Francisco Chronicle August 22, 2004.
What makes this more than just a collection of funny stories, however, is the way Keeler weaves in many of Brautigan's own letters as well as the perspectives of others around him to show where Brautigan's anguish and mad antics are really coming from. Thus he writes of the relation between fact and fiction in Brautigan's life. . . . It remains for the critics and biographers to distill this achievement in a way that will both credit it adequately and make it accessible to future generations. With "Waltzing With the Captain," Greg Keeler has made a noble start.
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Online Resource
Nicosia's review at the San Francisco Chronicle website
Schmidt, Carol. "Friendship between Writers Brautigan and Keeler Celebrated in New Book." MSU University News 4 March 2004.

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Online Resource
Schmidt's review at the MSU News website
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Manso, Peter and Michael McClure. "Brautigan's Wake." Vanity Fair May 1985: 62-68, 112-116.
A re-evaluation of Brautigan, after his death, by his peers: Peter Manso (writer), Michael McClure (poet), Ron Loewinsohn (poet), Don Carpenter (novelist), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (poet and publisher, City Lights Books), Donald Merriam Allen (editor and publisher), Helen Brann (literary agent), Richard Hodge (confidant and California Superior Court judge), Bobbie Louise Hawkins (poet and performer), David Fechheimer (private investigator and friend), Ianthe Brautigan (daughter), Peter Berg (founder, with Emmett Grogan and Peter Cohen(Coyote) of the Diggers), Tom McGuane (novelist), Dennis Hopper (actor), Siew-Hwa-Beh (girlfriend), Peter Fonda (actor), John Doss (doctor and friend), Margot Patterson Doss (writer and columnist), Joanne Kyger (poet), Tony Dingman (friend), Ken Holmes (assistant coroner, Marin County), and Anthony Russo (detective sergeant, Marin County Sheriff's Office).

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McClure, Michael. "Ninety-one Things about Richard Brautigan." Lighting the Corners: On Art, Nature, and the Visionary. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1993. 36-68.
A delination of thoughts, memories, and observations about Brautigan from someone who knew him during his early days in San Francisco. McClure says, "these are notes written at typing speed as I reread all of Richard's writings (68). These notes were for his article "Brautigan's Wake," written with Peter Manso and published in Vanity Fair (1985). They were not included in the article and were first published here.

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Mergen, Barney. "A Strange Boy." San Francisco Chronicle 20 January 1985 "This World" section: 20.
Mergen recounts "the memory of a warm June day in 1956 when [Brautigan] appeared at my door in Reno, Nev., introducing himself, 'Hello, I'm Richard Brautigan and I'm a poet,' and scaring my grandmother half to death." Brautigan, then 21, was traveling from Portland, Oregon to San Francisco, California. Brautigan found Mergen's name in Brushfire, the University of Nevada literary magazine and thought he "might be sympathetic to a homeless poet."

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Plymell, Charles. "Remembering Richard Brautigan." Hand on the Doorknob: A Charles Plymell Reader. Sudbury, Massachusetts: Water Row Press, 2000: 102-103.

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—. "Reba." Forever Wider: Poems New and Selected: 1954-1984. Metuchen, New Jersey: The Scarecrow Press, 1985: 69-71.
An earlier version of "Remembering Richard Brautigan" (see above).

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Roiter, Margaret. "Death of A Poet: String Was Cut between Brautigan and the World." Bozeman Chronicle 31 October 1984: 3.
Discusses experiences in Brautigan's creative writing class at Montana State University and his death.

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Shulman, Ernie. "The Life and Death of Richard Brautigan." Artist Inlet Press. November 2010.
Many have offered theories for why Brautigan took his own life. Ernie Shulman, a suicide researcher specializing in suicidal celebrities, is working on a book titled Thirty Famous Suicides. In what appears to be an excerpt from the chapter about Brautigan, Shulman describes Brautigan as suffering from alcohol-induced paranoia and suicidal tendencies resulting from an inability to deal with weaknesses and grief.

Online Resources
"The Life and Death of Richard Brautigan" at the Artist Inlet blog
Smith, Barb. "Friends Say Stories Sensationalize Brautigan's Life after His Death." Bozeman Daily Chronicle 7 November 1984: 29.
Brautigan's Montana friends defend him against charges of a violent lifestyle made by Ken Kelley in a story by Warren Hinckle in the San Francisco Chronicle .

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T. B. [sic] "New West Notes: Letter from the North." California Magazine January 1985: 116.
Laments the loss of North Beach, California characters. Recounts a conversation with Herb Gold, "North Beach doyen," about Brautigan.

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Tamio Kageyama. "The Story of Brautigan in Big Sur." Brutus No. 91 1 July 1984: 59-65.
Kageyama visited Big Sur, California, twice, in 1970 and 1984, hoping to find and interview Brautigan. On the second visit, he learned that Brautigan was in Tokyo, and so traveled there and interviewed Brautigan in The Cradle, a bar owned by Shiina Takako and patronized by writers and artists. Takako appears with Brautigan in the back cover photograph for The Tokyo-Montana Express. Brutus is an arts/literary magazine.
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Thomas, John. "Richard Brautigan: A Memoir." Transit 10 Spring 2002: 18-20.
A memoir written years after the fact and therefore lacking some accuracy. But, the anecdotes create an interesting portrait of Brautigan.

Thomas, age 71, died just a few days before publication of this issue. The front cover features a photograph of Brautigan (right) and Michael McClure (left, on motorcycle), taken on Haight Street in San Francisco, California, in 1968 by Rhyder McClure, Michael's cousin.

Feedback from Rhyder McClure
Rhyder McClure. Email to John F. Barber, 8 April 2004.
Also includes work by Charles Plymell, Jack Kerouac, Michael McClure, Aram Saroyan, Charles Bukowski, Anne Waldman, Billy Childish, and A.D. Winans.

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Torn, Rip. "Blunder Brothers: A Memoir." Seasons of the Angler. Ed. David Seybold. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988. 127-139.
A memoir that recounts fishing and drinking with Brautigan and in a larger sense a relationship with him over a period of years.

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Wright, Lawrence. "The Life and Death of Richard Brautigan." Rolling Stone (445) 11 April 1985: 29, 31, 34, 36, 38, 40, 59, 61.
Wright incorporates comments and memories of family and friends as he follows the reasonably well known facts of Brautigan's life and death. He provides some interesting insights into the psychological pressures perhaps working on Brautigan as he sought fame as a writer then struggled with its loss.

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Online Resources
The full text of this article at a webpage.

Front cover Wright's memoir features four photographs of Brautigan, one each by Baron Wolman, Erik Weber, Roger Ressmeyer, and Edmund Shea.

The first photograph of Brautigan, taken by Baron Wolman in San Francisco, in 1967, shows Brautigan seated on the front bumper of an old truck, typewriter in his lap. This is a black and white version of the original color photograph published in the Rolling Stone article.

The second photograph of Brautigan, by Erik Weber, taken in Montana, during Brautigan's first visit in 1972, shows members of "The Montana Gang" gathered in a kitchen. Tom McGuane jams with Jimmy Buffett while Brautigan cooks. Marian Hjortsberg looks on.

The third photograph of Brautigan, by Roger Ressmeyer, taken in San Francisco, in 1981, shows (L-R) Curt Gentry, Don Carpenter, Brautigan, and Enrico Banducci, owner of Enrico's Cafe, a popular gathering spot at Broadway and Kearney, near City Lights Books. This photograph also illustrated Cheryl McCall's article "A Happy But Footsore Writer Celebrates His Driver's Block" (People Weekly 8 June 1981: 113, 116, 120).

The fourth photograph of Brautigan, by Edumund Shea, is a black and white portrait of Brautigan standing in front of wooden wall or fence, probably in San Francisco, circa late 1950s.