“This is your last chance to do something right, son. Don’t screw it up.”
With these words ringing in his 60-year old ears, Howard Brown, Jr., sets out from Kentfield, California to find his wayward and possibly psychotic sister and return her to their dying father’s bedside. The search leads him to the Brown family’s ancestral home near St. Francisville, Louisiana, where his Southern
cousins have apparently conspired with his sister to bilk him out his inherited, potentially oil-rich property. At the same time, he discovers that a long dormant birthmark in his sternum is a portal to the land of the dead. His consciousness is suddenly inundated with terrifying visitations from a rogue’s gallery of twisted ancestors, until he fears that he is just as crazy as his sister and everybody else in their labyrinthine family. Wounded to his core, doped up and strung out, Howard discovers that his salvation is beating loud and clear within his own weary heart, and that all he has to do is listen.
"The Healing of Howard Brown is a heartrending, insightful and at times hilarious family drama. In a story that ranges across America, from northern California to Louisiana, Harrison explores the deep connections of family and long-hidden secrets that threaten those bonds. A powerful novel of loss and re-connection, The Healing of Howard Brown is also the story of one man understanding his own family's history and his own place in the world. Harrison uses a light and often humorous touch to give his characters a heartbreaking humanity: his work is often reminiscent of Pat Conroy's fraught family histories and John Irving's circuitous storytelling. However, Jeb Harrison demonstrates his own unique talents in communicating the deep ties that pull us together as family and tear us apart. A marvelous book, well worth reading for years to come."
-- Ned Hayes, bestselling author of The Eagle Tree and Sinful Folk
“…a magnificent quest story, ambitious in scope but intimate in tone through the first-person voice of the flawed but forgivable—and finally, admirable—Howard. If you enjoy beautiful prose, complex themes of family and race, and a refreshingly original narrator, this book is for you. Harrison is among the select few contemporary fiction writers who still write for serious readers.”
- Jim Heynen, bestselling author, best known for The One Room Schoolhouse , The Boys’ House, You Know What is Right , The Man Who Kept Cigars in His Cap and many more.
“In large-hearted, exuberant form, Jeb Harrison tells the tale of Howard Brown, an aging teacher confronted with the deaths of his parents and the zany dysfunctions of his relatives. Through a fabulistic series of events, The Healing of Howard Brown delivers what the title promises--and shows us that a laugh can be at the heart of even the darkest moments.”
- Greg Glazner, award-winning poet; From the Iron Chair and Singularity
“Jeb writes with passion. His lush words envelope me in a place where feelings come out through his characters and right into my heart. His work is revealing, interesting and beautifully done. ”
- Susanna Soloman, author, Pt. Reyes Sherriff's Calls
"Perception is more important than reality” is one of the oldest unspoken governing truths of Hollywood. In HACK, Jeb Harrison reveals how this rule also applies to the art world, and its painters, agents, and collectors, with comic and bittersweet results. Struggling painter Henry “Hack” Griffin’s brief reunion with his long time unrequited love, Hadley Scofield – and with a complex, charmingly off-beat character like Hadley, the reality is always far more complex – sets in motion a series of ever-escalating ruses that eventually exposes how all the characters in the novel are unable to perceive what is real from that which they so strongly want to be real. Harrison creates a topsy-turvy carousel of disguises, mistaken identities, lies, half-truths, misunderstood motivations, and perhaps even a fable (in the form of a quasi-mythic homeless man) then sets it spinning until it ensnares all of the characters who inhabit the Bay Area’s “see-or-be-art-scene” – from bisexual ex-wives and Marin County divorcees to gay Scottish make-up artists and a rich music video producer and his ex-WWF bodyguard. Harrison gives each of these characters enough credibility to convey that he’s obviously met and known their real counterparts in his life, and an equal amount of hyperbole that makes them both funny and sad, often at the same time. Reading HACK is like a weekend getaway in Marin County: a very enjoyable way to spend your time."
– Stan Chervin, screenwriter of Moneyball
"I laughed my ass off, and then at times stopped and felt a sadness, almost like I was actually Henry Griffin, haunted by the ghost of a childhood girlfriend, left wondering how perfect life could have been. Thank you, Jeb Harrison, for letting me read this wonderful story. I can't stop thinking about the book, and that's the only real compliment one writer can give another."
– Frank Turner Hollon, author of Life Is A Strange Place which became the movie Barry Munday.
“Jeb’s writing is not unlike his signature sound on the bass guitar; under the melodic surface is a rhythmic, soulful groove, with enough space for the almost improvised narrative to breathe and ultimately tell itself with simplicity, energy and Jeb's trademark twisted humor. Jeb also writes like he paints, creating beautiful pictures that have their own subtle spirit and direction. Jeb writes a quintessentially male story here, but inserts a couple of strong, independent, intelligent female characters into his protagonist's life to keep him honest and, of course, ultimately save his sorry a**. Jeb's creativity seeps into everything he does, but this may be a pinnacle; he is one heck of a story teller. Read it!”
– Bonnie Hayes, award-winning singer/songwriter, producer and performer.
"I applaud Hack not only because it is riveting and brilliantly written, but because the male author has created two believable female leads who are the ultimate voice of reason, and can lead the bumbling Hack out his life-threatening pickle. I have to say I savored every minute of it!"
– Patricia V. Davis, bestselling author of Cooking for Ghosts, Harlot's Sauce and The Diva Doctrine.
"A wacky, twisty-turny tale of a wily artist heading off the cliff of his life."
It is a fine summer morning in San Anselmo, California and Henry Griffin, a depressed philanthropist wannabe and landscape painter, learns from his agent that a rich, famous rock star/media entrepreneur is planning to attend his art show that evening.
When the mogul arrives at the California Heritage Gallery he is accompanied by the artist’s childhood sweetheart, a woman he hasn’t seen in twenty years, except in dreams, where she appears almost nightly, a heavenly image of beauty and light. Now he is overwhelmed with desire... and despair, for she is the trophy wife of a rich man. What could she possibly see in a downtrodden, besotted artist?
The artist, in a state of love-struck dementia, hatches an outlandish scheme to win her back: he decides to fake his own death, thereby driving up the value of his portfolio. Then, under cover, he’ll continue to produce “undiscovered” work, get rich, and one day return to claim his one true love, and they’ll ride “Fat Boys” together into the sunset to live happily ever after.
Another fine title from HD Media Press