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Obituaries

Praise written for an individual following death often takes one of three forms: tributes, memoirs, and obituaries. Obituaries generally summarize a person's life.

Obituaries were, according to Brautigan, all that was left of a person after death. He enjoyed reading obituaries and often wondered what his would say. There were many obituaries written for Richard Brautigan following his death in 1984 and many did, in fact, provide an interesting summation of his writings and life.

This part of BRAUTIGAN.net provides information about obituaries written for Richard Brautigan, as well as links to related information or resources.
    Richard Brautigan
Reflections
"God, all the shit
that is going to be written
about me
after I am dead."
Tokyo, 2/10/84

Anonymous. "Bernard Brautigan." Detroit Free Press 29 October 1984: 14F.
Bernard Brautigan, 76, is one surprised man. He only just learned he was the father of author Richard Brautigan after Richard's apparent suicide last week. A retired laborer in Tacoma, Brautigan was divorced from his wife, Mary Lula Folston [sic; should be Lulu Mary], who never revealed she was pregnant when the couple split. Brautigan got the news via his sister-in-law. Only the proof of birth records and confirmation from his ex-wife convinced him. Said a shaken Brautigan, "I don't know nothing about him. He's got the same last name, but why would they wait 45 to 50 years to tell me I've got a son."
—. "Body Discovered in California Is Believed to Be Brautigan's." The New York Times 26 October 1984, Sec.2: 6.
The full text of this obituary reads:
A body discovered yesterday by the police in a house in Bolinas, Calif., was believed to be the remains of Richard Brautigan, a quixotic counterculture poet and writer, his publisher said.

The police who entered the house in the seaside town 16 miles north of San Francisco discovered the body of a man who appeared to have been dead for several weeks, the Marin County Sheriff's office said. But the police said they were not yet releasing the identity of the deceased.

According to Seymour Lawrence, Mr. Brautigan's publisher at Delacorte Press in New York, the body was Mr. Brautigan's. Among his books were: "Trout Fishing in America," "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," and "In Watermelon Sugar."
—. "Brautigan." UPI News. Dateline: Bolinas, CA, 27 October 1984.
Writer Richard Brautigan was found dead in his home and apparently had committed suicide, but the coroner's office says it will not announce its findings until next week.

The body of Brautigan, 49, was found Thursday by friends who became concerned because they had not heard from him for several weeks.

Investigators said he had been dead for a long time, making it difficult to fix the cause of his death, but a pistol was found near the body and the wall was splattered with blood.

However, the Marin County Coroner's office said it would announce its official findings Monday.

David Fechheimer, a San Francisco private investigator who knew the long-haired writer well, said Brautigan had been preparing his death in recent weeks, getting his affairs in order.

"Ironically," said Fechheimer, "he seemed to be in better shape in the last few months than he had for a long time. He had a difficult divorce four or five years ago, and it seemed as though he had finally got over it.

"In retrospect, I guess it was plain he thought he was coming to the end. He had deep emotional problems," Fechheimer said. "He complained about his back hurting him and he had problems with his teeth, for example.

"If they say it was suicide, there is no question but that I believe it."

Brautigan was an unknown Haight-Ashbury poet in San Francisco when he wrote "Trout Fishing in America" in 1967 and became a best-selling author and guru to the hippie movement.
—. "Brautigan." UPI News. Dateline: Tacoma, WA, 27 October 1984.
The death of author Richard Brautigan shocked a Tacoma man who learned for the first time he was the 49-year-old writer's father.

Bernard Brautigan, 76, a retired laborer, discovered his relationship to the Tacoma-born writer Friday in a telephone call from his ex-sister-in-law.

The novelist's body was discovered Thursday with a pistol nearby in his secluded home near Bolinas, Calif., and investigators said the death was an apparent suicide.

The author attained fame with his novel, "Trout Fishing in America," which sold 2 million copies, and other works giving voice to the counter-culture of the 1960s.

Bernard Brautigan was formerly married to an Eugene, Ore., woman who gave birth to Richard on Jan. 30, 1935, the Tacoma-News Tribune reported Saturday.

But Mary Lula Folston, who moved from Tacoma to Eugene 40 years ago, did not tell the elder Brautigan that Richard was his son until he died this week.

Folston asked her sister, Evelyn Fjetland of Tacoma, to contact the elder Brautigan and tell him of the death.

"I hadn't heard from Evelyn since before we were divorced," Brautigan said.

At first he did not believe the story and he said he called his ex-wife, whom he had not seen in 50 years. The Brautigans separated shortly after she became pregnant.

The newspaper confirmed Brautigan's relationship to the author by obtaining a copy of the author's birth certificate at the Pierce County Health Department.

Folston, who later remarried and had three children, told the paper her ex-husband had "asked me if Richard was his son, and I said, no. I told him I found Richard in the gutter. I just packed my things in a bag and left. Richard never questioned who his father was and never was interested in it."

Bernard Brautigan said he knew nothing about his famous son, whose face adorned with a droopy moustache and wire-rim glasses was familiar to vast numbers.

"I never read any of his books," he said. "When I was called by Evelyn, she told me about Richard and said she was sorry about his death. I said, 'who's Richard?'

"I don't know nothing about him. He's got the same last name, but why would they wait 45 to 50 years to tell me I've got a son."
—. "Brautigan Death." AP News. Dateline: Bolinas, CA, 27 October 1984.
Richard Brautigan, the author laureate of the hippie generation whose apparent suicide was discovered last week, had been preparing for death for some time and was want to "get drunk and shoot things," friends said.

"Toward the end of summer he seemed to be taking care of a number of housekeeping details," said David Fechheimer, a private investigator in San Francisco who was one of the friends who found Brautigan. Fechheimer said the writer cleaned out his office in San Francisco and put the belongings in storage.

He said Brautigan, 49, who reached the height of his fame during the 1960s with a collection of vignettes called "Trout Fishing in America," had a particularly hard time four or five years ago after his second divorce.

"It seemed as though he had finally gotten over it," Fechheimer siad, but like many of the writer's other friends, he added that Brautigan had a long history of heavy drinking and depression."

"He had deep emotional troubles," Fechhmeier said.

Ken Kelley, a fellow writer and friend, said Brautigan's lifestyle at his 80-acre ranch in Montana gave an indication of the sometimes depressed and violent nature of the 49-year-old author.

"The house was full of bullet holes . . . Richard liked to get drunk and shoot things," Kelly said.

Kelly said he has spoken with Brautigan's neighbors in Montana, including actor Peter Fonda, since the apparent suicide.

"Up there you had a bunch of artistic weirdos living in rancher country. And the artists seemed compelled to compete in macho terms against the cowboys, and then tried to out-macho each other," Kelly said.

"Every night seemed to be boy's night out. You had to get drunk and get your gun and shoot off more bullets than the other guy," he added.

He said the books Brautigan wrote in Montana were much more violent than the hippie-era novels that first gained him literary attention. "Trout Fishing" sold 2 million coipies and has remained a cult favorite.

The coroner's office in Marin County said a positive identification of the body found in Brautigan's Bolinas home last week would have to wait until dental records were obtained Monday.

The boody had been dead for about a month, they say, and the sheriff's office said a self-inflicted bullet wound to the head appeared to be the cause of death and that they were treating the incident as a suicide.
—. "Brautigan Death Called Self-Inflicted." Great Falls Tribune 28 October 1984: 3C.
The full text of this obituary reads:
Richard Brautigan, a literary idol of the 1960s, who eventually feel out of fashion, was found dead Thursday at his secluded house in Bolinas, Calif. The Marin County coroner's office reported that the author of "Trout Fishing in America" apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound four or five weeks ago. He was 49 years old.

"He told everyone he was going away on a hunting trip," Helen Brann, Brautigan's literary agent, said Friday. "He did disappear from time to time when he was working on a new novel, as he was at the time, so we never worried." Brautigan's body was discovered by two of the writer's friends.

Brautigan had been troubled and drinking heavily, according to Seymour Lawrence, who published a number of Brautigan's books, and Thomas McGuane, the novelist.

None of his early books sold well in the beginning, including "Trout Fishing in America," his second novel.

Brautigan became a familiar figure in the Bay Area of California, handing out copies of his poetry in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury and Berkeley.

But Brautigan began developing a reputation in the literary underground. "In 1968, a client of mine phoned from the West Coast and said this writer is enormously talented and you should take him on," Brann said. She promptly offered three of his books at an auction, at which Lawrence bid the most.

The sincerity and the disconnected, elliptical style that so charmed critics and readers in those days eventually began to pall. For example, reviewing "The Tokyo-Montana Express," a Brautigan novel published in 1980, Barry Yourgrau, a poet, wrote in The Times Book Review: "He is now a longhair in his mid-40s, and across his habitually wistful good humor there now creep shadows of ennui and dullness, and too easily aroused sadness."

Brautigan did not care about the opinion of critics, Brann said. "But what he couldn't bear was losing the readers. He really cared about his audience. The fact that his readership was diminishing was what was breaking his heart."

Brautigan, born in Spokane, Wash., moved to Bolinas about a year ago. Previously he divided his time between San Francisco and a small ranch near Livingston, Mont.

Married and divorced twice, Brautigan is survived by a daughter, Ianthe Swenson of Los Angeles.
—. "Brautigan-Obit." UPI News. Dateline: Bolinas, CA, 25 October 1984.
Author Richard Brautigan, whose 1967 novel, "Trout Fishing in America" turned him from an unknown Haight-Ashbury poet to best selling author, was found dead in his home Thursday. He was 49.

Authorities said the body was found by two friends who had become alarmed because they had not seen or heard from the long-haired writer in several weeks.

The Marin County coroner's office said Brautigan had been dead for some time and began an investigation into the cause of his death.

Brautigan was a struggling writer in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district until he published "Trout Fishing in America." It sold 2 million copies. He followed that with "Confederate General from Big Sur."

Other novels included "In Watermelon Sugar," "Revenge of the Lawn" and "The Abortion: An Historical Romance."

But Brautigan had been criticized in recent years for failing to live up to his early promise and friends said his latest years had not been happy ones and that he had been drinking heavily.

Brautigan was born in Spokane, Wash., and suffered complications from appendicitis that nearly cost him his life when he was 8 years old.

Asked if [he] was afraid of death when he was 45, Brautigan replied, "I have no fear of it at all. I'm interested in life. People wouldn't take life seriously if they didn't know it would turn dark on them."

Brautigan spent much of his time in recent years in Japan and also had a ranch in Livingston, Mont., where his neighbors included author Tom McGuane, actor Peter Fonda and artist Russell Chatham.

Brautigan is survived by a daughter from his marriage to Virginia Dionne, which ended in divorce in 1970.
—. "Brautigan-Obit." UPI News. Dateline: Bolinas, CA, 26 October 1984.
Author Richard Brautigan, whose 1967 novel "Trout Fishing in America" made him a literary hero of the 1960s counterculture, is dead, the apparent victim of suicide. He was 49.

The body was discovered Thursday in the secluded house where he lived alone near Bolinas by two friends who were concerned because Brautigan had not been seen or heard in several weeks.

Close to the body was a pistol. The Marin County coroner's office reported an apparent gunshot wound that was "apparently self-inflicted" four or five weeks ago. Decomposition was so advanced a dental chart will be needed to make identification certain.

Brautigan was a unknown San Francisco poet when he published "Trout Fishing in America," which sold two million copies. Another work, "Confederate General from Big Sur," gave voice to the hippie generation.

The whimsy, satire, humor and strange and detailed observations in his style made his works underground favorites that managed to climb into the mainstream.

But in recent years Brautigan was criticized for not living up to his promise. He spent much time in the San Francisco area, in Japan and at a ranch he owned in Livingston, Mont. Friends said he was unhappy and was drinking heavily.

He maintained the long hair, droopy moustache and wire-rimmed glasses he favored in the 1960s.

He was born in Spokane, Wash., where at age 8 he suffered complications of appendicitis that nearly killed him, and recalled that "at the hospital they talked of my autopsy."

Brautigan is survived by a daughter, Ianthe, from his marriage to Virginia Dionne that ended in divorce in 1970.
—. "Brautigan-Obit." UPI News. Dateline: Bolinas, CA, 26 October 1984.
Author Richard Brautigan, an unknown poet who became a guru to the nation's hippies, was found dead of unknown causes in his home. He was 49.

Publisher Seymour Lawrence said the body was found Thursday by two friends who became alarmed because they had not seen or heard from him in several weeks.

The Marin County coroner's office said Brautigan had been dead for some time. An investigation was begun into the cause of his death.

Lawrence and author Tom McGuane, who also knew him well, said that the last years of Brautigan's life had been troubled and that he had been drinking heavily.

But author Don Carpenter, another friend, said he saw Brautigan two months ago and found him "in good spirits."

Brautigan was an unknown poet in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district until he published "Trout Fishing in America" in 1967. It sold 2 million copies. He followed that with "Confederate General from Big Sur."

Other novels included "In Watermelon Sugar," "Revenge of the Lawn" and "The Abortion: An Historical Romance."

But he fell out of favor with American critics, who criticized him in recent years for failing to live up to his early promise.

Tall and rangy, he was the sterotypical-looking hippie writer with long hair, wire-rimmed glasses and droopy moustache.

Carpenter said Brautigan "writes about simple things. Love. Death. Hunger. Empty lives. Bees. Men and women, and all the trouble they can get into with each other."

McGuane called him "a gentle, troubled, deeply odd guy."

Lawrence said, "Brautigan felt at the end of his life that he wasn't appreciated. But he was still revered by the Japanese and the French. His books sold very well there.

"I think he is yet another artist who died of what I call American loneliness. He was quite alone at the end," Lawrence said.

Born in Spokane, Wash., Brautigan spent much of his time in recent years in Japan and also had a ranch in Livingstone, Mont.

He is survived by a daughter from his marriage to Virginia Dionne, which ended in divorce in 1970.
—. "Brautigan, Richard (Gary) 1935-1984." Contemporary Authors. Ed. Hal May. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1985. Vol. 113. 65-66.
The full text of this obituary reads:
Born January 30, 1935, in Spokane (one source says Tacoma), Wash.; died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, c. September, 1984, in Bolinas, Calif. Poet and author. Brautigan, eulogized by publisher and friend Seymour Lawrence as "a true American genius in the tradition of [Mark] Twain and [Ring] Lardner," became a counterculture hero during the 1960s because of his ability to articulate with humor and imagery the growing disillusionment with the American Dream that characterized that era.

Brautigan's literary odyssey began in the late 1950's with the publication of several collections of his poetry by small San Francisco presses. During the 1960's he became a familiar figure among the Flower Children of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, passing out copies of his poetry and giving readings of his work. 1n 1965 A Confederate General From Big Sur [sic], Brautigan's first published novel, apperared. But it was not until 1967, with the publication of Trout Fishing in America, that Brautigan began to gain recognition for his writing. The novel, along with In Watermelon Sugar and a collection of poems, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, was originally published in San Francisco by the Four Seasons Foundation.

Brautigan's critical and commercial success peaked with Trout Fishing in America and began to decline following the 1971 publication of The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966. Brautigan's close friend novelist Tom McGuane succinctly summarized the collapse of Brautigan's career with the observation that "when the 1960s ended, he was the baby thrown out with the bathwater." Brautigan continued writing throughout the 1970's, producing such books as Sombrero Fallout and Dreaming of Babylon: A Private Eye Novel 1942, but friends of the author reported he had grown increasingly withdrawn and depressesd over his fading career. He apparently committed suicide in September of 1984, but his body was not discovered until October 25 of that year.

There is an ironic epilogue to Brautigan's life. His father, Bernard Brautigan, did not know he was Richard's father until he learned of the author's death. The elder Brautigan, described as "shaken" in a Detroit Free Press article, claimed to have no knowledge of his son's existence" "He's got the same last name, but why would they wait 45 to 50 years to tell me I've got a son." The author's parents divorced before Brautigan's mother told his father that she was pregnant.
—. "Ferlinghetti." UPI News. Dateline: San Francisco, CA, 26 November 1984.
General news article about Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet-publisher whose City Lights Books was the literary center of San Francisco's Beat Era during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Ferlinghetti says the writers of the Beat Generation: Kenneth Rexroth, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Neil Cassady, Kenneth Patchen, William Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Ken Kesey, and Richard Brautigan set the stage for the activists of the 1960s.

—. "Friends Find Author Brautigan Dead at his Home in California." Billings Gazette 26 October 1984: B7.
The full text of this obituary reads:
Author Richard Brautigan, who owned a ranch in Paradise Valley near Livingston, Mont., was found dead Thursday at his home in Bolinas, a beach community north of San Francisco, his publisher said.

Brautigan, whose offbeat novels and poetry made him a hero of the '60s counterculture, was 49.

The body of the author of such popular works as "Trout Fishing in America" and "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster" was discovered by two friends who became concerned after not hearing from him, said publisher Seymour Lawrence of Delacorte Press in New York.

Sheriff's investigators said they had not identified the decomposed body found in Brautigan's house. The person apparently had been dead for several weeks, according to a lieutenant who asked not to be identified. The lieutenant said there was evidence the man died of a gunshot wound.

A close friend, novelist Don Carpenter of nearby Mill Valley, said he was sure the body was that of Brautigan. "He wasn't away. He was canned in," Carpenter said. "He was in the place. The last time we talked he wasn't going to go away."

Brautigan's Paradise Valley ranch was near one owned by his longtime friend and fellow author Thomas McGuane.

Brautigan roamed San Francisco's famed Haight-Ashbury section during the height of the flower-child era, and was unknown until the release of "Trout Fishing in America" in 1967. The novel sold 2 million copies. Other works included "Confederate General From Big Sur," "In Watermelon Sugar," "Revenge of the Lawn," and "The Abortion: An Historical Romance," and "The Tokyo-Montana Express."

"He was a great artist," Carpenter said. "I don't think his work has ever been really recognized for its impact. He's unique. His ability to compress emotion into such small space was second to none."

Lawrence and McGuane both said Brautigan had been extremely troubled and had been drinking heavily.

"When the 1960s ended, he was the baby thrown out with the bath water," McGuane said.

Writer Curt Gentry, a friend for 25 years, said Brautigan "was always a heavy boozer. Obviously, he wasn't happy, but he'd always managed to pull himself out of depression before. Whatever agonies he was suffering this time, I don't know."

Carpenter said he saw Brautigan five weeks ago. He said the author was working on "several projects" and "was full of good cheer and optimistic about doing good work."
—. "Milestones." Time 5 November 1984: 80.
The full text of this entry reads
DIED. Richard Brautigan, 49, gently low-key novelist and poet of the California underground, whose offbeat books, including A Confederate General from Big Sur (1965), The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster (1968) and Trout Fishing in America (1967), offered countercultural youth of the hippie era a kind of "natural high" with intense evocations of humor, romance and nature, of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound; in Bolinas, Calif. A badly decomposed body identified at week's end as Brautigan's, was found in his home by two friends who had become worried about not hearing from him for several weeks.
—. "Obits." UPI News. Dateline: Bolinas, CA, 26 October 1984.
Author Richard Brautigan, an unknown poet who became a guru to the nation's hippies, was found dead of unknown causes in his home. He was 49.

Brautigan was an unknown poet in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district until he published "Trout Fishing in America" in 1967. It sold 2 million copies. He followed that with "Confederate General from Big Sur." Other novels included "In Watermelon Sugar," "Revenge of the Lawn" and "The Abortion: An Historical Romance."

Born in Spokane, Wash., Brautigan is survived by a daughter from his marriage to Virginia Dionne, which ended in divorce in 1970.
—. "Obit-Brautigan." AP News. Dateline: Bolinas, CA, 26 October 1984.
Richard Brautigan, whose offbeat novels and poetry about love, death and empty lives captured the imagination of the 1960s hippie generation, was found dead at home, his publisher and friends said.

The 49-year-old author of such popular works as "Trout Fishing in America" and "In Watermelon Sugar" was found Thursday by friends who became concerned after not hearing from him, said Seymour Lawrence of Delacorte Press in New York.

Sheriff's investigators, however, had not positively identified the decomposed body found in Brautigan's house, according to a lieutenant who asked not to be identified. The lieutenant said there was evidence the man had died of a gunshot wound.

But friends, including David Fechheimer, a San Francisco private detective who said he found the body, were sure it was the gangly author who appeared on book covers with long, blond hair, bushy moustache and wire-rimmed glasses.

"I believe it was suicide," Fechheimer said.

Positive identification of the body, which had been in the house about a month, would have to await dental chart comparisons, said coroner's investigator William Thomas.

"He wasn't away," said long-time friend, writer Don Carpenter of nearby Mill Valley. "He was in the place. The last time we talked he wasn't going to go away."

Brautigan, a native of Spokane, Wash., was an unknown writer living among the flower children in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district when "Trout Fishing in America" was published in 1967. It sold 2 million copies and made him a literary celebrity.

His other novels included "Revenge of the Lawn," "The Abortion: An Historical Romance" and "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster."

"He was a great artist," Carpenter said. "I don't think his work has ever been really recognized for its impact. He's unique. His ability to compress emotion into such small space was second to none."

Carpenter once wrote that "Brautigan writes about simple things. Love. Death. Hunger. Empty lives. Bees. Men and women, and all the trouble they can get into with each other."

He said he had seen Brautigan five weeks ago and he was working on "several projects . . . was full of good cheer and optimistic about doing good work. He was in good spirits."

But Lawrence and another friend, San Francisco writer Curt Gentry, said Brautigan had led a troubled life, and had been drinking heavily.

"Richard was always a heavy boozer. Obviously, he wasn't happy, but he'd always managed to pull himself out of despair before. Whatever agonies he was suffering this time, I don't know," Gentry said.

"I think he is yet another artist who died of what I would call American loneliness," Lawrence said. "He was quite alone at the end."

"When the 1960s ended, he was the baby thrown out with the bath water," said long-time friend, Tom McGuane, who lives near Brautigan's Livingston, Mont., ranch.

"He was a gentle, troubled, deeply odd guy," McGuane said. "He once told me that because of a childhood illness he had to grow up in darkness. I guess his mind became his only toy during that time."

Brautigan, who almost died when he was eight years old from appendicitis complications, recalled his hospitalization in an interview a few years ago.

"They talked of my autopsy," he said. "I went to a place . . . It was dark without being scary." Asked if he were afraid of death, he replied, "I have no fear of it all. I'm interested in life. People wouldn't take life seriously if they didn't know it would turn dark on them."

Lawrence said that while Brautigan's books still sold well in Japan and France, "he felt at the end of his life, that he wasn't appreciated."

Brautigan is survived by a daughter, Ianthe, from his first marriage to Virginia Dionne, which ended in divorce in 1970. His second marriage also ended in divorce.
—. "Obit-Brautigan." AP News. Dateline: Bolinas, CA, 26 October 1984.
Richard Brautigan, whose emotion-packed writing touched millions and made him a hero to the 1960s hippie generation, apparently shot himself in the head weeks before his decomposed body [was] found, authorities said Friday.

A gun was lying next to the body of the 49-year-old author when sheriff's deputies entered his home Thursday, and a coroner speculated he may have been dead for a month.

"The scene is consistent with Mr. Brautigan inflicting a gunshot wound to his head with a large-caliber handgun," said Sgt. Rich Keaton of the Marin County Sheriff's Department.

Brautigan was author of several novels and books of poetry. His best-known work was "Trout Fishing in America."

The Marin County coroner's office said a positive identification may not be made until Monday because the body was so badly decomposed and the author's dental records were not immediately available.

But several friends said they were certain it was the body of the gangly author with long, blond hair, bushy mustache and trademark granny glasses and Confederate general hat.

The body was discovered by two of Brautigan's friends, who climbed through a window of his house after not hearing from him in several weeks.

Kenneth Holmes, an assistant coroner, said the body had probably been there about a month.

Brautigan had no telephone and was last reported seen on Sept. 15, Keaton said.

A native of Spokane, Wash., Brautigan was an unknown writer living among the flower children in San Francisco's famed Haight-Ashbury district when "Trout Fishing in America," which sold 2 million copies, made him a literary celebrity.

His other novels include "Confederate General from Big Sur," "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," "In Watermelon Sugar," "Revenge of the Lawn" and "The Abortion: An Historical Romance."

Brautigan is survived by a daughter, Ianthe, from his first marriage to Virginia Dionne, which ended in divorce in 1970. His second marriage also ended in divorce.

Don Carpenter, a writer and friend of Brautigan, said he saw the author five weeks ago and he was working on "several projects . . . was full of good cheer and optimistic about doing good work. He was in good spirits."

But other friends said the writer was troubled.

San Francisco Curt Gentry, a friend for 25-years, said Brautigan "wasn't happy, but he'd always managed to pull himself out of despair before. Whatever agonies he was suffering this time, I don't know."

Seymour Lawrence, of Delacorte Press in New York, said Brautigan's books still sold well in Japan and France, but "he felt at the end of his life that he wasn't appreciated . . . He was quite alone at the end."

"When the 1960s ended, he was the baby thrown out with the bath water," said another long-time friend, Tom McGuane. "He was a gentle, trouble, deeply odd guy."
—. "Obituary Notes." Publishers Weekly 9 November 1984: 20.
Trout Fishing in America was first published in 1967 by Four Seasons Foundation in San Francisco, where Brautigan distributed his poems in the streets of Haight-Ashbury and where his underground reputation had its start. Alerted to that reputation, literary agent Helen Brann offered Trout Fishing in America and two other books at an auction won by Seymour Lawrence, who published the three in one volume in 1970 and who has been Brautigan's publisher since. Although Brautigan's audience in the U.S. has declined in recent years, his works are particularly popular in Japan and France and have been translated into 12 languages.
—. "Obituaries." Chicago Tribune 28 October 1984, Sec. 4: 17.
Richard Brautigan, 49, an author whose offbeat novels Trout Fishing in America and A Confederate General from Big Sur made him a celebrated figure in the 1960s; his books blended comedy, satire, odd bits of information and outrageously freewheeling style; in the last years of his life, his work fell out of favor with critics, who considered it old hat; found Oct. 25 in his Bolinas, Calif. home.
—. "Poet-Novelist Richard Brautigan Found Dead." Detroit Free Press 27 October 1984: 6B.
Author Richard Brautigan, known best for his 1967 novel Trout Fishing in America, is dead, an apparent suicide. He was 49.
—. "Richard Brautigan." The Times (London) 27 October 1984: 12.
Richard Brautigan, the American novelist, short story writer and poet has died at the age of 51. [Note that other news sources give his age as 49.] There was a kind of quality, suppressed but evident, in those early books [of fiction] which promised much. But Brautigan seemed not to have been able to go beyond it, or to develop. . . .His poems received little critical attention. . . .In later years, feeling that he had been unfairly discarded by public and critics alike, he became depressed and began to drink heavily.
—. "Richard Brautigan." Washington Post 27 October 1984: B4.
Richard Brautigan, 49, the author whose 1967 novel Trout Fishing in America made him a literary hero of the 1960s counterculture, was found dead of a gunshot wound Oct. 25 at his secluded home in Bolinas, Calif. The Marin County Coroner's Office said his death was an apparent suicide. Mr. Brautigan, whose body was found by friends who were concerned because he had not been seen in several weeks, was an unknown San Francisco poet when he published Trout Fishing in America, which sold two million copies. Another work, A Confederate General from Big Sur, gave voice to the hippie generation.
—. "Transitions." Newsweek 5 November 1984: 94.
The full text of this obituary reads:
Novelist and poet Richard Brautigan, 49, who became a campus hero in the 1960s with his whimsical novel, "Trout Fishing in America"; reportedly of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, at his home in Bolinas, Calif. His works, which included "A Confederate General from Big Sur" and "In Watermelon Sugar," blended satire, extended metaphors and odd bits of information in a free-wheeling style that came to symbolize the hippie era. Later Brautigan lost favor with American critics (though he remained popular in France and Japan) and spent his last years emotionally troubled.
Barabak, Mark Z. "Brautigan's Suicide Rekindles Bad Feelings." San Francisco Chronicle 30 October 1984: 3.

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Folkart, Burt A. "Brautigan, Literary Guru of the '60s, Dies." Los Angeles Times 27 October 1984, Sec. 2: 7.
Although critics generally had difficulty grasping the thrust of Brautigan's diverse characters (one of whom sat by passively as tigers devoured his parents), the street people of the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco and other areas of the country where the Flower Children had settled hailed him as their literary guru.

Generally, his works melded free association, satire, comedy and outrageous situations into an abstract melting pot in which instinctual behavior is held to be of higher value than environment or societal pressures.
Hinckle, Warren. "The Big Sky Fell In on Brautigan." San Francisco Chronicle 27 October 1984: 4.

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Liberatore, Paul. "Richard Brautigan Dies in Bolinas." San Francisco Chronicle 26 October 1984: 1, 18.

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Reprinted
—. "To the Memory of Richard Brautigan 1935-1984." The Bolinas Hearsay News 26 October 1984: 1.
Reprints a portion of the same-day story. Includes the photograph by Erik Weber of Brautigan used on the back dust jacket cover of A Confederate General from Big Sur and Brautigan's poem "A Good-Talking Candle."
McDowell, Edwin. "Richard Brautigan, Novelist, A Literary Idol of the 1960s." The New York Times 27 October 1984, Sec. 1: 33.

Reprinted
The New York Times Biographical Service 15(10) Oct. 1984. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International. 1297.

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Polman, Dick. "A '60s Hero's Pained Soul Is Finally Bared, in Death." Philadelphia Inquirer 3 December 1984: E1, E5.
Reviews Brautigan's rise to fame, and fall. Provides commentrary from several of Brautigan's friends. Concludes by saying,
. . . [T]here is something quite sad about an artist who bares himself so willingly for an unresponsive audience.
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Snyder, George. "Brautigan Prepared for Death Since Summer, Friend Says." San Francisco Chronicle 27 October 1984: 1, 14.

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