Brandon reads from Civil War novel at Drinko


The A.E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series at Marshall University had a public reading event Tuesday by author John Brandon in the John Deaver Drinko Library.

Brandon read passages from a novel he is working on and said it is 50 percent finished.

The book takes place in the aftermath of the Civil War around the year 1865. The pages he read detailed the main character Gussy. In the story, Gussy’s mother passed away. Her money was kept with another man, but when Gussy attempts to claim it, the man refuses, wanting to keep it for himself. Gussy later attempts to break into the bar the man owns and steal back his inheritance.

Brandon answered questions from the audience after the reading that lasted about 45 minutes.

When asked why Brandon chose the passage to read, he said he was looking for a section of the book without too much dialogue. He explained it would be easier for the audience to understand without much character introduction needed.

Brandon said he specifically chose to place the setting of the book after the Civil War instead of during it. If the setting had been during the war, the story would have been constrained to historical events. He said by setting the story in the aftermath of the war, Brandon would have more creative freedom.
At the end of the event, Brandon was on hand to sign copies of his books, which were also available for purchase.

Brandon is the author of three novels, “Arkansas,” “Citrus Country” and “A Million Heavens.” He is also the author of “Further Joy,” a collection of short stories.

Brandon writes about college football and his works have appeared in “ESPN the Magazine,” “Oxford American” and “The New York Times.” He is also an assistant professor at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he teaches in various creative writing programs.

Matthew Eplion can be contacted at [email protected]