Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cult Fiction: Richard Brautigan

Richard Brautigan--novelist, poet, and short story writer--is an author whose work fits the classic definition of cult fiction.  While Brautigan did receive conventional publishing contracts before his death in 1984, he did self-publish at first and eventually published with City Lights Press (run by beat poet Lawrence  Ferlinghetti).  After Kurt Vonnegut read his work, Brautigan was recommended to and published by Delacorte.  Later he would be published by Simon and Schuster.

Brautigan's novels include Trout Fishing in America, In Watermelon Sugar, Sombrero Fallout, The Hawkline Monster, So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away, A Confederate General from Big Sur, and An Unfortunate Woman.  His short story collection is titled Revenge of the Lawn.

Brautigan's work was definitely an acquired taste in the beginning, and his original poetry collections were sewn together by hand and distributed on the street.  His prose style is playful, challenging, and more often than not, dark and satirical.  In almost all of his fiction, he challenges established values, a hallmark of cult fiction.

Brautigan's work is still sold and read today.  His complete work, including unpublished work by unknown authors, is housed in The Richard Brautigan Library.


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