The Los Angeles Diaries: A Memoir

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Sep 1, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 224 pages

A wrenching chronicle of loss and
reaffirmation from novelist James Brown

Plagued by the suicides of both his siblings, heir to alcohol and drug abuse, divorce and economic ruin, James Brown lived a life clouded by addiction, broken promises and despair. In The Los Angeles Diaries he reveals his struggle for survival, mining his past to present the inspiring story of his redemption. Beautifully written and limned with dark humor, these twelve deeply confessional, interconnected chapters address personal failure, heartbreak, the trials of writing for Hollywood and the life-shattering events that finally convinced Brown that he must "change or die."

In "Snapshot," Brown is five years old and recalls the night his mother "sets fire to an apartment building down the street," an act that splinters the family, later leading to their destruction. In "The Facts," he is a young writer and professor "afraid to step out of the darkness" and confront his double life as an addict. In "Daisy," Brown purchases a Vietnamese potbellied pig for his wife to atone for his sins, only to find himself engaged in a furious battle of man versus beast -- with the pig's bulk growing in direct proportion to the tensions in his marriage.

Harrowing, brutally honest, The Los Angeles Diaries is the chronicle of a man on a collision course with life, who ultimately finds the strength and courage to conquer his demons and believe in life once more.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - touchthesky - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed this book. It was so painful but told so well. An interesting insight about a struggling artist, trying to sell a screenplay and support a family. Although, there are more depressing themes that arise, the story just keeps you wanting more. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - buppanasu - LibraryThing

Some might characterize it as a bete noir as Brown has had a tragic life on his way to writing success but it's a powerful piece of work. I met him @ a Redlands CA Barnes & Nobel writing workshop a wk ago. Hes a terrific writer whose understanding of the writing process is superlative. Read full review

About the author (2003)

James Brown is the author of several novels including Lucky Town and Final Performance. He has received the Nelson Algren Award for Short Fiction, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in fiction writing and a Chesterfield Film Writing Fellowship from Universal/Amblin Entertainment. His writing has been featured in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Denver Quarterly and New England Review. He lives with his family in Lake Arrowhead, California

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