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James William Brown biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author

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James William Brown

James William Brown Biography

James William Brown is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford, and has also been a writing fellow at the Fine Arts Works Center in Provincetown, Mass. He lived and taught in Greece for 10 years, and previously worked as the director of editorial programs for various textbook companies. Now retired, Brown lives with his wife in the Boston area. My Last Lament is his second novel, after Blood Dance.



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Interview

James William Brown talks about My Last Lament, a poignant and evocative novel of one Greek woman's story of her own—and her nation's—epic struggle in the aftermath of World War II.

World War II is a popular period for historical fiction, but the years immediately following the war are often overlooked. What drew you to writing about this time?

It was really the voice of Aliki, the narrator, that got this all started. After I finished my first book, I began a second manuscript, and the character of Aliki evolved in that work. I enjoyed working with her as a character, even though the manuscript never really came to much. When it was finished, I started writing a series of short stories about Aliki, and I'd planned for the third one to be about her childhood. When I figured backwards with her age, I realized she would have been a child during the German occupation of Greece, and then the Greek Civil War that followed that. And they'd always been periods that interested me. But ultimately, I followed where Aliki led. When I'm writing, I hear a voice in my imagination and just fall into the story. I don't really know where it's going to go. I just follow along.


There seems to be a great historical understanding of the horrors the Germans brought to the territories they occupied. But much of the violence seen in My Last Lament, both during the war ...

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Books by this Author

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My Last Lament jacket
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