When I was an undergrad at Southern Illinois University, Brady Udall was one of my writing professors.  In workshop, he wasn’t afraid to tell you what he thought of your story.  In that sense, he was tough; but I felt his style of teaching got through to me.  Regardless of how he said it, what he had to say about story telling was dead on.  So while I was still in undergrad, I decided to read his first novel, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint.  It’s a story about a boy whose head gets crushed by a mail truck.  The book traces Edgar’s life from hospital, to reservation orphanage, to foster home.  Throughout, Edgar’s determined to find the man who ran over his head in order to tell the man that he survived, that he’s okay.  It’s a fantastic story that’s beautifully written.  I highly recommend it.

My senior year at SIU, I had a workshop with Brady.  He told us about a new book he was working on, The Lonely Polygamist–though I’m not sure if he had mentioned the title.  He just said that the book was about a man with four wives and twenty-something children.  I liked his first book so much that after graduation, I began this mild obsession with checking Google and Amazon to see when the book was set to be released.  The searches led me to the title of the book, and I had found several tidbits–articles,interviews, reading promos, etc.–that hinted at future release dates.  Based on the information I had gathered, this book was supposed to be released at least 80 times from the beginning of 2008 to the end of 2009.  But the internet is a mile wide and an inch deep, so I should have been a little more cautious when reading these sites.

Now, I don’t do these searches every day.  I’m not that big of a creep.  But every once in a while when I’m looking to waste time on the net, I might type in a name or a title (Barry Hannah, too).  And since it had been a month or two since the last time I checked on this particular book, I decided to do a search today.  And I found this article from the Boise Weekly.  There’s still no set release date; however, it does mention a late 2009, early 2010 publication.  The reason it has taken so long seems to be a result of the book’s page length–over 700.  Looking forward to tackle that one.  I’ll be keeping an eye on this and will post a publication date here once that information is available.

brady_webTo read samples of Brady Udall’s work, click the following links:

“Otis is Resurrected”
“A Story”

  1. Diana says:

    When I was a grad student, Story magazine published a short-short by Brady Udall called “The Wig.” I’ve never forgotten it–it’s such a gorgeous piece of writing. A year or two later, they published another story of his called, I think, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” which was also beautiful.

  2. DeWolf says:

    I think the second link below is “The Wig.” For some reason, Rain Tiger shows it as “A Story”–maybe an earlier title?

  3. Matt says:

    Lonely Polygamist will definitely be out by early next year. I believe final copy just went to the publisher, though I know Brady is still tinkering. You’re going to love it.
    It’s terrific.

  4. DeWolf says:

    Thanks for stopping by and providing the info, Matt!

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