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Works

Apology to the Young Addict

"A sensationally-written memoir about the effects of alcoholism and addiction on family as told by the dad of three grown sons."

    –Zibby Owens, 1 of 30 Most Anticipated Books of the Year

 

"James Brown, already among the best memoirists in America, has surpassed his own high standards in Apology to the Young Addict.  This superbly written book is about addiction, yes, but it is equally a book about courage, perseverance, love, desperation, recovery, and healing.  More than anything, it is a book that reminds us, again and again, of the power of storytelling.  In the pages of this heartbreaking but oddly exhilarating memoir, Brown deploys his narrative skills with precision, grace, complexity, and masterfully controlled intensity of emotion.  What a fine piece of work." 

   - Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried

 

"James Brown's Apology to the Young Addict does not just breathe new life into addiction writing, it does so with enough grace, heart, and grab-you-by-the-throat style to transcend the genre and qualify as genuine literature.  These beautiful essays will serve as balm for survivors of the opioid crisis, those still struggling to make it out, and pretty much anyone else trying to stay sane in these insane times.  Prose-wise -- with all due respect to his late namesake -- James Brown has earned his title as the Godfather of Junkie Soul."

      - Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight

 

"Apology to the Young Addict is the last in a trilogy that started with The Los Angeles Diaries and continued with This River. Each is a reckoning with the misery of mourning, and each is a celebration of a life. Rarely is writing so hard-won, and rarely are the rewards this powerful."

     ―Michelle Latiolais, author of She: Fiction

 

"The third panel in Brown's masterwork triptych on addiction from youth to sixty accompolishes a staggeringly rare mercy --on the ghosts of memory, the ravages of disease, the brutal hypocrisies of religion, and finally -- most shockingly -- on himself."

     - Gina Frangello, author of Every Kind of Wanting

 

"James Brown has written one of the most complex illustrations of our human flaws and chances at redemption.  Apology to the Young Addict is a book of perspective, empathy, and wisdom for addicts and anyone who's ever loved them.  This book will help an enormous number of people."

    -  Rob Roberge, author of Liar

 

The Los Angeles Diaries

"Brown’s revelations have no smugness or self-congratulation; they reek of remorse and desire, passion and futility. Brown flays open his own tortured skin looking for what blood beats beneath and why. The result is a grimly exquisite memoir that reads like a noir novel but grips unrelentingly like the hand of a homeless drunk begging for help.”

Publishers Weekly (Best Book of the Year)

This River

This River continues where Brown's first memoir, The Los Angeles Diaries, left off. It's molten stuff, the story of his efforts to control his river of rage."

        ―Los Angeles Times