Larry Brown Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

On Fire (1994) is a collection of autobiographical essays from Larry Brown’s days as a firefighter in Oxford, Mississippi. The author of such novels as Dirty Work (1989), Joe (1991), Father and Son (1996), and Billy Ray’s Farm (1997), Brown adapted Dirty Work for the prestigious American Playhouse series aired by the Public Broadcasting Service.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

In 1990, Larry Brown received the Award for Literature from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters for his story “Facing the Music.” Brown has had stories anthologized in The Best American Short Stories in 1989 and 1992. The Southern Book Critics’ Circle awarded Brown its 1991 award for fiction, and Joe was selected by the American Library Association as one of the twelve best fiction books of 1991.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Applebome, Peter. “Larry Brown’s Long and Rough Road to Becoming a Writer.” The New York Times, March 5, 1990, C11. Tracing what Barry Hannah called Brown’s “miracle” in which “he became his own genius,” the article examines Brown’s apprenticeship, his numerous rejections, and the amazing determination that led him to publication and success.

Brown, Larry. “An Interview with Larry Brown.” Interview by Kay Bonetti. Missouri Review 18 (1995): 79-107. This interview delves into Brown’s background, the influences on his writing (Fyodor Dostoevski, Joseph Conrad, and Flannery O’Connor, as well as his days as a firefighter), his belief that writing is an acquired skill, and the darkness of his vision. It gives an overall perspective of the themes and motifs that pervade Brown’s works, from his passion for the land and saving it from destruction to the importance of family and community and the tragedy of poverty.

Brown, Larry. “An Interview with Larry Brown.” Interview by Susan Ketchin. The Southern Quarterly 32 (Winter, 1994): 95-109. This interview, centering on Facing the Music, emphasizes the philosophical underpinning of Brown’s work. Revealing the significance of myths, dreams, and religion on his art, he pinpoints a common thread in his fiction as his characters, faced with seemingly...

(The entire section is 516 words.)