A Vietnam Novel, 1989–1990
This chapter discusses Larry Brown’s novel Dirty Work, and how he got the idea for this novel after his uncle’s death. He later identified Dirty Work as the most difficult of his books to write. The revision process had not been easy. At one point, Mary Annie Brown remembered that Larry threatened to burn the manuscript, and the two had “one of our worst fights over [the book]. I saved it.” However, reading Dirty Work also caused Mary Annie to realize just how “smart” her husband was. Larry recognized that the revision process had been hard not only for him but also for his wife. The work would eventually pay off; Brown later described Dirty Work as his “personal favorite” among his novels.
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