American Romances

American Romances

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WILLA: Women in Letters and Literary Awards

Women in Letters and Literary Arts started The WILLA List to note great books by women that Publishers Weekly missed in their all-men top ten "Best Books of 2009." American Romances is included on the list.

-Cate Marvin & Erin Belieu, WILLA Nov 16, 2009

"Writing is Emotional and Mysterious" An interview with author Rebecca Brown

"I met Brown in her cozy blue house (decorated with paintings by fellow Seattleite Nancy Kiefer and Belle and Sebastian posters), where the author lives with her wife Chris and their two cats. Out in the backyard, in her writing studio, Brown works among statues and stained-glass images of saints, a Franz Kafka puppet, pictures of her family, heaps of CDs and sheets of paper, as well as many books. 'It's a pit," Brown comments, "it’s packed with books, and vaguely I can get to them.'"

-The Gay & Lesbian Review Mar 1, 2013

Activisms, Assimilation and Beyond: An Interview with Rebecca Brown
"Rebecca Brown's twelfth book, American Romances, a collection of gonzo "essays," was released by City Lights in June, 2009... Jory Mickelson: Tell me how your newest book American Romances came together. Rebecca Brown: I am calling them essays. They are part fantasy, speculation, silliness and research. I’ve done journalism off and on. Writing nonfiction is also something I have done for a number of years, which is one source..."
-Jory Mickelson, The Betty Pages Sep 4, 2009

Interview with Rebecca Brown

"We caught up with Rebecca Brown, author of American Romances (Citylights Publishers), on a warm and rainy afternoon and she was kind enough to set aside some time for us. Here's some of what she had to say..."

-Sixers Review

Rebecca Brown's American Romances

"The first essay alone, 'Hawthorne,' is worth the cover price. A sure thing, a hit single at the beginning of the album, it moves seamlessly between—or rather interweaves, somehow—the lives of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Beach Boy Brian Wilson, the Puritans and surfers, the witch trials and Abu Ghraib. . . . Bloody. Brilliant."

-Christian Peet Aug 21, 2009

Constant Reader

"Brendan Kiley has already written about it in The Stranger's book section, but it deserves to be repeated: Rebecca Brown's new book, American Romances, is an incredible collection of essays. And like most really good books, as soon as you finish reading it, you want to read more books that are just like it. But that's impossible—books are all bad in the same sort of way; good books are good (in part) precisely because they are unique."

-Paul Constant, The Stranger Jul 28, 2009

The Gifts of the Body
"The Gifts of the Body is the best book about AIDS I have ever read. The author, Rebecca Brown, is a former home-care worker and her compassion for the dying and unstinting generosity in meeting people's needs is astonishing. It is not entirely clear to me if this is a work of fiction or non-fiction, but in the reading it begins not to matter. It just a book about one person helping others. The narrator sees people for who they are and she recognises what they need. It is a book about empathy."
-Charlotte's Web Nov 30, 2008

Unlucky Old Sons
"On Brian Wilson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, the Waves of California, the Melancholy of the Beach Boys, and the Stories the Young Can't Escape
Hawthorne n

1: California suburb where Brian Wilson, American composer and Beach Boy (b. 1942, just released 10th solo album, That Lucky Old Sun), was raised

Nathaniel (1804–1864) American author

The Puritans dreamt of the City upon a Hill and came to the New World to build it.

Then when it went to hell their sons and sons of sons went west and daughters, too. Get away if you can! The future's there! And beaches, too!

And so, to California, there they went, eventually to Hawthorne, suburb of the City of Angels. It was the last place they could go because the land runs out, the only thing that's left beyond is water, which no one can, unless they're Jesus, walk on, but they tried (on boards) and to degrees they could but then they couldn't. Because as much as anyone tries to ride a wave, a wave can't last forever."
-Rebecca Brown, The Stranger Oct 21, 2008