Brothers: 26 Stories of Love and Rivalry
April 2010, Jossey-Bass
Here is a tapestry of stories about the complex and unique relationship that exists between brothers. In this book, some of our finest authors take an unvarnished look at how brothers admire and admonish, revere and revile, connect and compete, love and war with each other. With hearts and minds wide open, and, in some cases, with laugh-out-loud humor, the writers tackle a topic that is as old as the Bible and yet has been, heretofore, overlooked.
Contributors range in age from twenty-four to eighty-four, and their stories from comic to tragic. Brothers examines and explores the experiences of love and loyalty and loss, of altruism and anger, of competition and compassion—the confluence of things that conspire to form the unique nature of what it is to be and to have a brother.
“Brother.” One of our eternal and quintessential terms of endearment. Tobias Wolff writes, “The good luck of having a brother is partly the luck of having stories to tell.” David Kaczynski, brother of “The Unabomber”: “I’ll start with the premise that a brother shows you who you are—and also who you are not. He’s an image of the self, at one remove . . . You are a ‘we’ with your brother before you are a ‘we’ with any other.” Mikal Gilmore refers to brotherhood as a “fidelity born of blood.”
We’ve heard that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But where do the apples fall in relation to each other? And are we, in fact, our brothers’ keepers, after all?
These stories address those questions and more, and are, like the relationships, full of intimacy and pain, joy and rage, burdens and blessings, humor and humanity.
Civil War (Benjamin and Fred Cheever).
Missing Parts (David Kaczynski).
The Sensations of Jim (David Maraniss).
My Brother, Life (with Apologies to Pasternak) (Phillip Lopate).
Secrets and Bones (Mikal Gilmore).
We Were Men (Richard Ford).
American Beauty (Ethan Canin).
Doing Time (John Edgar Wideman).
My Brother's a Keeper (Chris Bohjalian).
Headlock (Daniel Menaker).
A Drinking Life (Pete Hamill).
You Can't Kill the Rooster (David Sedaris).
Heavy Lifting (Geoffrey Wolff).
A Brother's Story (Tobias Wolff).
Documents (Charles D'Ambrosio).
Get Away from Me (Jim Shepard).
The Scarlet Ibis (James Hurst).
The Roberts Boys (Steven V. Roberts).
A Death in the Family (Dominick Dunne).
Jambon Dreams (Floyd Skloot).
Imagining Robert (Jay Neugeboren).
King of the Cleveland Beatniks (Herbert Gold).
The Accident (Gregory Orr).
Sacraments of Reconciliation (Jerald Walker).
Chang and Eng (Darin Strauss).
Brothers on Brotherhood (Nathaniel Rich and Simon Rich).
About the Editor and Contributors.
Sources and Permissions.
Beginning with Cain and Abel, the relationship between brothers has been fraught with drama. The first book of its kind - NOW IN PAPERBACK - to explore the unique bonds of brotherhood, BROTHERS: 26 Stories of Love and Rivalry, edited by Andrew Blauner and with a foreword from Frank McCourt, exhibits stories short and long, comic and tragic, nonfiction and fiction, from some of the most renowned writers of our time.
Brilliant contributions from Ethan Canin, Richard Ford, Pete Hamill, Phillip Lopate, David Maraniss, David Sedaris, Jim Shepard, John Edgar Wideman, Tobias Wolff and others offer riveting accounts of the intimate connections and intense differences between brothers.
David Kaczynski, brother of The Unabomber, writes, “I’ll start with the premise that a brother shows you who you are - and also who you are not. He’s an image of the self, at one remove; but also a representation of the 'other.'....You are a ‘we’ with your brother before you are a ‘we’ with any other."
BROTHERS examines and explores, deep and wide, stories of love, loyalty, and loss, of altruism and anger, of competition and compassion—all to do with the unique nature of what it is to be and to have a brother. Brotherhood is, after all, a crucial psychological relationship that illuminates ourselves, our families, and our place in the world.