feedback on. It’s possible there have been countless other drafts along the way.
I’ve known Brian for coming on 20 years. We met in a novel writing class at the Loft Literary Center and joined with four others to create a writing group that’s still together today in a slightly different incarnation. Eighteen year ago, the draft of Ivory Black—then Every Tom Dick and Harry—was offered to the group for critique. The published book—added to the Recent and Relevant shelves today—is probably the sixth or seventh draft of that original book that I’ve read and given feedback on. It’s possible there have been countless other drafts along the way.
Our writing group also workshopped Brian’s first novel, Whiteout, which had good reviews but sadly did not get wide distribution because it was self-published (a stigma that is fading in the industry). And I was lucky to read an early version of The Gravity of Love, a third novel coming out from Willow River Press on August 30. I haven’t read the final draft yet, but Junot Diaz, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, calls it “a magnificent haunting duet of grief, absence, and the unshakeable bonds of family…a profoundly moving, profoundly human novel.”
Yes, that’s two novels Brian’s published in 2023, after probably four decades of writing (probably six decades of writing if you count his academic work that earned him two PhDs—one in French and another in French literature). So it’s never too late to achieve your dreams. Brian’s perseverance is an inspiration to me, as it can be to anyone with a passion for creative expression. Whatever feeds your creative soul, do it as often as you can and with joy.
If you’ve never been to a novel launch before, consider heading to Magers and Quinn in Minneapolis on August 30 at 7 pm. Brian will be in conversation with novelist Peter Geye, so it’s an event not to be missed. The event is free, but registration is required. Learn more at www.magersandquinn.com/events.
Coffman residents, signup for monthly updates from the Library!
You have successfully joined our subscriber list.
Posts by Year
Posts by Month