An Evening with Memoirist James Brown

Join us for an evening of conversation about the art, craft, and business of writing with James Brown.

JAMES BROWN is the author of the critically acclaimed memoirs The Los Angeles Diaries and This River. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship and the Nelson Algren Literary Award in short fiction. Brown’s work has appeared in GQ, The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Ploughshares, New England Review, and many other publications. He lives in Lake Arrowhead, California.


“James Brown’s Apology to the Young Addict may be the closest linguistic facsimile to what it’s like to be in recovery: haunted, growing old, somehow not yet world-weary, but always a razor’s breadth—one day at a time—away from chaos. The third panel in Brown’s masterwork triptych on addiction from youth to sixty, Apology to the Young Addict also accomplishes at last 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 and A Life in Men

Husband, addict, father, skeptic.

Now sixty—with years of sobriety under his belt—and the father of three sons, James Brown (author of The Los Angeles Diaries) writes about finding a new path
in life, how he has made peace with the family whose ghosts have haunted him so vociferously, and helping the next generation of addicts overcome their disease. Opening with the tragic tale of an elderly couple consumed by opioid addiction and moving through the horrors of a Las Vegas massacre, these essays draw on Brown’s personal journey of recovery to illustrate how an individual life, in all its messiness and charm, can offer a blueprint for healing. Haunting and hopeful, Apology to the Young Addict is a reinvention of the recovery memoir and a lasting testimony from a master writing at his peak.

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