A Novel of the Bronte Brother
Douglas A. Martin
Branwell traces the life of Branwell Bronte, the sole brother of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte, from childhood to his alcohol and opium induced death at the age of 31. As the only son, Branwell is expected to make the fortune for the family, and immortalize the Bronte name. He is given no formal education, but is painstakingly tutored by his father, and writes endless stories and poems with his sisters in their small parsonage home.
Haunted by the early deaths of his mother and sister, both named Maria, and the imaginary worlds Angria and Gondal he and his sisters create as children, Branwell is unable to touch his heart’s desire: to be a great artist. Forever discontent, he roams from job to job, as painter, railway man, and tutor, constantly writing and sketching. He sinks further into his own disappointment at great expectations, as his sisters spin and fume on the dark moor with the stories that will immortalize them.
Douglas A. Martin probes the locus where history and myth collide, and with language as rich and dark as the windswept, rainy moors of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, gracefully uncovers Branwell Bronte’s almost forgotten lost loves and thwarted talent, while circling around his nameless sexuality. Maintaining the haunting quality of childhood memory throughout, Branwell is a genre bending exploration of the tragic figure of Branwell Bronte and the dismal, dazzling landscape that inspired his sisters to greatness.
Douglas A. Martin was born in Virginia in 1973 and spent his childhood being raised in Georgia. In 1998, he moved from the South to New York, where he has taught writing at the New School for Social Research since 2001. Beginning as a poet and dramatist, Martin then moved to the novel form, and he has concentrated most of his creative energies here since his first full-length prose work Outline of My Lover. His writing remains a hybrid of sorts, informed by a love of the projects of Acker, Colette, Duras, Ernaux, Guibert, Handke, Leiris, and Nothomb; it has been anthologized in SLAM, Bend, Don’t Shatter, Dangerous Families: Queer Writing On Surviving, Best Gay Erotica 2000, 2002, 2003, and Biting the Error: Writers Explore Narrative; and it has been adapted in part by the Ballett Frankfurt for their multimedia production “Kammer/Kammer” He is currently a PHD Candidate in English Literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he has written both critically and lyrically on aspects of Virginia Woolf, The Lost Boys, Sylvia Plath, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Arundhati Roy, pornography, Silvan Tomkins and Melanie Klein.
Paper | 5 1/2 ” x 8″ | 256 pgs. | ISBN: 1-933368-00-4 | List: $13.95 | 02/1/2006