Larry Brown on drinking and writing

In “Just One More,” an essay printed in the latest Oxford American, Gary Hawkins recalls the three very different Larry Browns he met on visits to the author’s home in Yacona, Mississippi, while making a documentary. (Brown died last November.)

On the second visit, Brown had failed to deliver Fay on time, and “was writing all night,” from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. When Hawkins got the camera rolling, Brown confessed:

I’ve wasted so much damn time sitting on a barstool…. that’s what kept me from working. I mean, I should’ve been finished with this book a long time ago, but I just… I can’t do both of them at the same time….

If you only write one page a day… in one year you’ve got a three-hundred-sixty-five- page novel. One page a day is nothing. Anybody can write one page a day. I try to do about five, normal workday, but I’ve been on some rolls here lately, where I’ve done as many as seventeen, eighteen pages a night. That’s the amount of time I’ve been putting in here lately sinceI haven’t been drinking.


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