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Rebecca Brown's The Last Time I Saw You is a Finalist for the 2007 Ferro-Grumley Awards for LGBT Fiction!
In The Last Time I Saw You, author Rebecca Brown returns to the obsessive, darkly humorous voice that has earned her comparisons to Samuel Beckett and Djuna Barnes. Some of the tales in this collection are told in the scrappy, breathless voice of a naif on the verge of a terrible revelation. Others are noir-baroque monologues that collapse in on themselves as a speaker at last abandons a much-needed delusion. Intense, artfully crafted and oddly comic, the stories in this collection are bound to stay with you like an insistent, disturbing dream.
“A strange and wonderful first-person voice emerges from the stories of Rebecca Brown"—The New York Times
"Rebecca Brown's newest collection of short fiction pulses with desires that cannot be attained—knowledge, understanding, quiescence, and love . . . The straightforward prose style belies Brown's penchant for brilliant narrative, which at any moment can turn from the gentle and intimate to the violent and bizarre."—Utne Reader
"Brown’s imaginative, fierce collection of 12 stories (her 10th book, after The End of Youth) evokes the painful detritus of lesbian love affairs long over and the trickiness of memory.”—Publishers Weekly
"She is one of the few truly original modern lesbian writers, one who constantly pushes both her own boundaries and those of her readers. The Last Time I Saw You is an exhilarating reminder of just how thrilling difference can be . . . she reaches back into a time-honored tradition of mania that borders on the frightening, one that calls up Sappho's laments to lost lovers, Stephen Gordon's self-sacrificing delusions and the chilling compulsions of the women of Djuna Barnes' Nightwood.”—Joy Parks, San Francisco Chronicle
"Every story is a stylistic and imaginative standout, but the most intriguing is 'Aspect of the Novel,' a truly original exercise in essayistic fiction that contrasts the closeted career of British novelist E.M. Forster—who wrote his queerest novel 'Maurice,' in 1914, but wouldn't permit its publication until after his death in 1970—with the secrets that the lovers populating Brown’s unsentimental prose keep from one another."—Richard Labonte, BookMarks
Rebecca Brown is the winner of the 2003 Washington State Book Award. Her books include The Gifts of the Body, Excerpts From a Family Medical Dictionary, The Terrible Girls and The End of Youth.
Brown's imaginative, fierce collection of 12 stories (her 10th book, after The End of Youth) evokes the painful detritus of lesbian love affairs long over and the trickiness of memory. Heartbreak and guilt fragment narrative and remembrance in the title story. A nameless woman unravels her tale as she tells it: "We had coffee... Wait I would have had coffee... you were drinking mineral water... or maybe fresh squeezed orange juice"). In the cryptic two-page vignette "A Ventriloquist," a woman attributes the "hideous, terrible things" she says to a cruel, controlling higher power. "Your relationships take place in your head," an ex-lover told the self-lacerating narrator of "Trying to Say," which catalogues the things the narrator might have said to her girlfriend but never did. In "The Others," another iteration of the tortured, rueful lover's lament, Brown depicts the emotional fallout of unfaithful girlfriends with gory, disturbing metaphors. In prose at once spare and unruly, Brown summons obsessive narrators hopelessly mired in an ever-shifting past.