Kevin Brockmeier

The living and the dead mingle in Kevin Brockmeier’s The Brief History of the Dead. The novel interweaves the story of a town full of departed souls with that of the still-living woman who hasn’t forgotten them. In a metropolis known as “The City,” inhabitants go about a normal routine — they eat dinner, shop, gossip — with the understanding they are dead. Their existence depends on the memory of Laura Byrd, who knew each soul before they died. But Laura has plenty on her mind without having to worry about those who have passed on. Her career as a wildlife specialist has led her to Antarctica, where her team has abandoned her. As she battles the cold unknown, she begins to fade in and out of the city her memory created.

The concept will tickle the brain. The novel is more than two years old, so it’s likely a few Houstonians have made it through this twisted tale with some questions. Ask them when Brockmeier reads and signs The Brief History of the Dead today at 7:30 p.m. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-0701 or visit Free.
Mon., April 7, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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