->''"But there is nothing like Richard Brautigan anywhere. Perhaps, when we are very old, people will write 'Brautigans' just as we now write novels. Let us hope so. For this man has invented a genre, a whole new shot, a thing needed, delightful, and right."''
-->--'''Lew Welch''', reviewing ''InWatermelonSugar''

->''"All of us have a place in history. Mine is clouds."''
-->--'''Richard Brautigan'''

Richard Gary Brautigan (January 30, 1935 ca. September 16, 1984) was an American writer. He enjoyed trout fishing.

He was influenced by Creator/TheBeatGeneration and embraced by hippies but did not seem to feel at home with either group. His closest hippie-like affiliations were with the [[http://www.diggers.org/alf.htm Artists Liberation Front]] and the [[http://diggers.org/ The Diggers]], a down-to-earth bunch who sought a realistic path to a totally free economy. He wrote many broadsides for [[http://diggers.org/com_co.htm The Communication Company]] [[note]]founded by hippie author [[Literature/TheGreenwichTrilogy Chester Anderson]][[/note]], including [[http://www.redhousebooks.com/galleries/freePoems/flowers.htm a well-known "valentine" about STDs]]. (Richard regarded these groups as artists doing something productive, as opposed to hippies who he thought of as do-nothing layabouts.)

UrbanLegend has it that once TheSixties ended and the hippies got day-jobs, he was left without a significant audience, which may have contributed to his depression and subsequent suicide in 1984. The truth is that he made most of his fortune ''after'' the 60s [[note]]''Literature/TroutFishingInAmerica'', the book for which he is most remembered, was completed in 1962, long before the hippie movement, and wasn't published until the fall of 1967, after the Summer of Love was long over.[[/note]], and hippies were only part of a much larger readership. His books were published in several dozen languages and continue to sell well in the U.S., Europe (especially France) and Japan to this day. None of his books, with the exception of a few early poetry chapbooks, have ever been out of print.

Despite (or because of) his issues with depression, his writing shows a light-hearted sense of humor, a vivid imagination and a love of language. Along with Kurt Vonnegut, [[http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2013/05/lost-in-translation.html he is credited]] with having introduced Japanese readers to American-style humor, absurdity and social criticism voiced in vernacular prose, beginning in 1975 when their books were first translated. He is also believed to be the first American author to approximate the Japanese form called the "I-novel", especially in ''Sombrero Fallout''.

As a child during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, he had subscribed to all the anti-Japanese bigotry and hatred typical of the era. As he grew older, he became interested in Zen, and learned what Japanese art and culture were really like. He describes this evolution of attitude in his books ''The Tokyo-Montana Express'' and ''June 30, June 30'', written during his lengthy stays in Shinjuku.

His works tend to be [[MindScrew difficult to describe]]. He uses a simplified, child-like diction (if it won't make your [[HeroicBSOD brain explode]], try imagining the NewAgeRetroHippie version of Creator/ErnestHemingway). His novels will invariably have some {{One Paragraph Chapter}}s. His later works ''seem'' to veer into genre fiction, including detective fiction and horror, but in fact still have more in common with the rest of Brautigan's work than any straight genre piece. He was also a poet, which basically let him crank his imagination UpToEleven.

He occasionally engaged in other creative pursuits. Of note is ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Listening to Richard Brautigan]]'', in which the author records sounds of [[ADayInTheLife daily life]] in his apartment and reads poems and stories, as well as ''Please Plant This Book'', a book of seed packets with brief poems printed on them (there is now an interactive [[PragmaticAdaptation flash version]] of this book online... [[AdaptationDecay no physical seeds though]]).

Go ahead and give Mr. Brautigan a try. You will smile.

Learn more at [[http://www.brautigan.net Brautigan.net]] and [[http://riza.com/richard/ The Brautigan Pages]] ... remembering that [[https://allpoetry.com/All-Watched-Over-By-Machines-Of-Loving-Grace one of Richard's best remembered poems]] was about computers.

!!Works by Richard Brautigan
* ''The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966''
* ''A Confederate General from Big Sur''
* ''Dreaming of Babylon: A Private Eye Novel 1942''
* ''In Watermelon Sugar'': Brautigan's only complete fantasy.
* ''The Hawkline Monster: A Gothic Western''
* ''Willard and His Bowling Trophies: A Perverse Mystery''
* ''The Pill Versus The Springhill Mine Disaster'', ''Rommel Drives On Deep Into Egypt'' and ''Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork'': books of poetry.
* ''Revenge of the Lawn'': a book of short stories.
* ''Trout Fishing in America'': Good example of MindScrew that doesn't hurt your brain, just makes you smile.
!!Works by Richard Brautigan with their own pages:
* ''Literature/AConfederateGeneralFromBigSur''

!!Other works by Richard Brautigan contain examples of:
* AntiLoveSong: Poem variants.
** [[http://www.redhousebooks.com/galleries/freePoems/flowers.htm This]] Valentine's Day card.
** Also [[http://thebrautiganbookclub.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/2b676-love_poem-scaled1000.jpg this]].
* BackAlleyDoctor: In ''The Abortion: A Historical Romance'', an unnamed narrator tells the tale of taking his girlfriend Vida to a veterinarian's office in Tijuana, Mexico for an abortion in the days before Roe v. Wade. To sterilize his surgical tools, the doctor douses them in tequila (but, surprisingly, does ''not'' [[QuickNip partake of said tequila himself]]) and then heat-sterilizes them with an acetylene torch. Actually something of an aversion; Dr. Garcia actually has high ethical and professional standards. When he says "no pain, all clean" you can believe it.
* BeigeProse: [[TropesAreTools Crafted to the point of fine art]].
* DCupDistress: Vida in ''The Abortion''. She's looked like that since she was eleven, and men have had accidents or even killed themselves. She hates it; she wanted to be a ballerina, and fantasized about a BodySwap with her pixie-like sister.
* IHaveBoobsYouMustObey: In ''The Abortion'', the hero falls in love with, literally, the WorldsMostBeautifulWoman. Everyone is mesmerized by Vida's "Playboy-furniture" figure, and [[SoBeautifulItsACurse several people have died because of obsession with her body]], whether they be DrivenToSuicide due to being NotGoodWithRejection or DistractedByTheSexy, starting when she was in the sixth grade.
* ILoveTheDead: ''Dreaming of Babylon'' features a coroner who admires the bodies of beautiful dead women, [[DownplayedTrope though he's insulted when detective C. Card repeatedly implies that he has sex with them]].
* {{Metafiction}}: Trout Fishing in America is a character in ''Trout Fishing in America''. Richard himself is a walk-on character in ''The Abortion'' (he delivers a book called ''Moose'' to the library) and is mentioned in a story in ''Revenge of the Lawn'' as having written ''Trout Fishing in America''.
* MindScrew: ''Trout Fishing in America''. Recurring symbols include the colour red, trout fishing in America itself -- as an activity, as a character, as an adjective -- and mayonnaise. One of the chapters is entitled "Sandbox minus John Dillinger equals what?" Oddly, it all kind of makes sense when taken together.
* MsFanservice: Vida in ''The Abortion''.
* OneParagraphChapter
* TheSingularity: a 'soft' version is described in [[https://allpoetry.com/All-Watched-Over-By-Machines-Of-Loving-Grace All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace]].
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: Vida is literally the most beautiful woman on earth -- by American standards. She's tall, slim, has "Playboy-furniture" legs and huge breasts. Inside, she is an elfin, delicate creature and wanted to be a ballerina, but instead became trapped in a body she feels is a "grotesque, awkward machine". Since she was eleven years old, the men around her have imploded simply from being in her presence. They're so distracted by her that they have car crashes or fall downstairs; they commit suicide because she won't go out with them. She writes a book about what it's really like to have the perfect body, decides to donate it to a mysterious library filled with books no one reads, and there she meets the librarian who, though enchanted by her beauty, is not driven insane by it, and is actually able to listen to her story.
* WorldsMostBeautifulWoman: Vida in ''The Abortion''.