I was first exposed to and influenced by John Gregory Brown’s incredible writing after reading a book review for his first novel, Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery. I can remember going to a local bookstore the very day it was released, I believe it may have been Borders, but please don’t quote me as it has been over twenty years ago now and for the record…yes, there used to be huge stores with nothing but aisle after aisle of amazing literary goodness just waiting to be be discovered. All the dreams and characters, all the life experiences and ultimately all the stories one could ever imagine in one central location, ripe for the picking.
I remember picking up John’s book in hardcover, feeling its weight in my hands, a glorious golden brown dust jacket complete with an image of a cemetery mausoleum emblazoned across the cover, the crisp white pages and neatly printed block lettering beckoning for me to dive right in! I abstained in that moment, but when I arrived home later that day, I voraciously began reading John’s story and was instantly hooked, the decadent, lyrical prose John used to so eloquently weave together his thoughts and sentences becoming a seminal moment for me personally. Just as John recollects and remembers in our podcast, the first book that inspired him to want to become a writer, so too has John Gregory Brown helped me “cross the Rubicon” into the territory of aspiring writing and Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery was the book he used to do it.
Thank you John. I will be forever grateful for your willingness to set the bar of expectation so incredibly high anyone who aspires to craft, weave and share stories with others, both narratively and visually. You are the master!
John Gregory Brown is an exceptionally talented writer, an extremely grateful individual and most importantly our friend. Tama and I are beyond blessed to have spent some time with John delving into and sharing his wonderful insights about life, love, family and yes of course…writing too!
This is John Gregory Brown’s True North Story® and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
John Gregory Brown was born and raised in New Orleans and is the author of the novels Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery; The Wrecked, Blessed Body of Shelton Lafleur; Audubon’s Watch and A Thousand Miles From Nowhere.
For over two decades John has taught and directed the creative writing program at Sweet Briar College, in Virginia, where he served as the Julia Jackson Nichols Professor of English, and where he will return this fall with his wife, the novelist Carrie Brown and their three children, one of whom, Molly McCully Brown who recently published her own book of poetry titled, The Virginia State Colony For Epileptics and Feebleminded.
If you would like to connect with John Gregory Brown, please visit his blog + his dog, a Pug named James, also has a blog titled, The Wisdom of James. You can also follow John on Twitter, Facebook, and multiple Instagram1 accounts Instagram2.
Purchase John’s books online @Amazon and at any online bookseller as well as your favorite local bookstore!
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Novels penned by John Gregory Brown:
Molly McCully Brown’s First Book of Poems: