“Lyrical and gorgeously written, Brown’s memorable outing does justice to a complicated web of issues.” — Publishers Weekly

Gregory Brown is the author of the novel, The Lowering Days, which has been translated into multiple languages, was a Publishers Marketplace Buzz Book, a Goodreads Best Debut Novel, a Library Journal Best Debut Novel, longlisted for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and won an AudioFile Magazine Earphones award.

His short stories have appeared in several publications, including Tin House, Alaska Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, Epoch, and Narrative Magazine, where he was a winner of the 30Below Prize. His essays and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, LitHub, The Millions, The Chicago Tribune, The Rumpus, American Short Fiction, and other publications.

A graduate of the Thomas College, Columbia University, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was a Teaching-Writing Fellow, his work has been supported by fellowships and awards from MacDowell, the Maine Arts Commission, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.

He’s based in Maine, on unceded Wabanaki territory, where he grew up and lives with his daughter, spouse, and many dogs.

Gregory's Featured Titles

The Lowering Days: A Novel

Harper Perennial |
Fiction

“In The Lowering Days Gregory Brown gives us a lush, almost mythic portrait of a very specific place and time that feels all the more universal for its singularity. There’s magic here.” —Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Empire Falls and Chances Are

A promising literary star makes his debut with this emotionally powerful saga, set in 1980s Maine, that explores family love, the power of myths and storytelling, survival and environmental exploitation, and the ties between cultural identity and the land we live on

If you paid attention, you could see the entire unfolding of human history in a story . . .

Growing up, David Almerin Ames and his brothers, Link and Simon, believed the wild patch of Maine where they lived along the Penobscot River belonged to them. Running down the state like a spine, the river shared its name with the people of the Penobscot Nation, whose ancestral territory included the entire Penobscot watershed—the land upon which the Ames family eventually made their home.

The brothers’ affinity for the natural world derives from their iconoclastic parents, Arnoux, a romantic artist and Vietnam War deserter who builds boats by hand, and Falon, an activist journalist who runs The Lowering Days, a community newspaper which gives equal voice to indigenous and white issues.

But the boys’ childhood reverie is shattered when a bankrupt paper mill, once the Penobscot Valley’s largest employer, is burned to the ground on the eve of potentially reopening. As the community grapples with the scope of the devastation, Falon receives a letter from a Penobscot teenager confessing to the crime—an act of justice for a sacred river under centuries of assault.

For the residents of the Penobscot Valley, the fire reveals a stark truth. For many, the mill is a lifeline, providing working class jobs they need to survive. Within the Penobscot Nation, the mill is a bringer of death, spewing toxic chemicals and wastewater products that poison the river’s fish and plants.

As the divide within the community widens, the building anger and resentment explodes in tragedy, wrecking the lives of David and those around him.

Evocative and atmospheric, pulsating with the rhythms of the natural world, The Lowering Days is a meditation on the flow and weight of history, the power and fragility of love, the dangerous fault lines underlying families, and the enduring land where stories are created and told.

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What’s the Story of Your Place? Home in Fiction.

This talk explores the power of place in our lives and how we channel that power into fiction. It explores how place informs or lives and how we inform place as well. It looks at the interaction between people and their landscapes in regard to industry, values, and art. And it considers home as more than just a location, but an emotional value and identity crux we all need.

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Unpacking Our Inherited Colonialism

This is a talk I like to give about how non-indigenous people can look deeper at the patterns of colonization we’ve inherited—everything from the place names we use, to how we talk about food, to how we approach ideas of justice (punitive versus restorative)—learn how to contradict those patterns, and better support indigenous sovereignty and self-determination to become stronger allies and advocates. 

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Embracing Cycles of Compassion and Abundance in Rural Communities

Growing up I was again and again confronted by how the rural communities that shaped my life were often trapped in these patterns of resentment and fear. This group was suspicious of that group because people thought they had more or got better breaks. It was heartbreaking, and it felt like it was condition people towards hate and fear. This is a talk I give about how we can look more closely at these cycles of resentment, scarcity, and conflict that so often plague rural communities in the U.S. Why and what is it in our society that reinforces this kind of conditioning? How to we snap those cycles and seek to replace them with cycles of empathy and compassion? 

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Writing the Natural World: Starting with Sentience

As people it’s easy to think of the natural world as a thing. As writers it’s easy to default to thinking about the natural world as a narrative device. The thing is . . . it’s a being. Living, rich, expanding, contracting, full of connection and sentience. In this talk I approach writing the natural world from the perspective of stepping into a living space filled with beings, whether they’re two-legged, four-legged, or many legged, and whether they’re made of flesh, fur, bark, stone, or sky-matter.

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Food Sovereignty and Security

This talk is a celebration of the power of seeds and how they carry our human story forward. It explores everything form the Svalbard seed vault, the seed-saving efforts of indigenous and non-indigenous seed keepers, to other ways we can keep control of our food systems in the hands of individuals versus global food structures that jeopardize our health and seed safety through mono-cropping, genetic modification, and iron-fisting seed patents, among other things. 

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Actionable Hope in the Time of Climate Change

Hope can be a polarizing topic in the context of the climate crisis. Blind hope that things will be okay often leads to inaction. Not so good. But no hope often leads to despair. Just as bad. In this talk I look at how writers can walk the line between artistry and advocacy by embracing the idea of actionable hope: the belief that we are presently in one moment of a larger story. The story can and will change. What can we do on the page, and in our lives, to create real change and harness the power of hopefulness?

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Telling Your Story, Your Way: A Narrative Workshop for Students

So I’m totally open to doing student workshops. Above is one I’ve done in the past at high schools, colleges, community spaces. It approaches writing from a place of sustaining belief in our ability to write meaningful longer works of fiction (short stories, story collections, novels) by narrowing down on the landscapes of our preoccupation—what is our story, the story we keep coming back to, the story we want to tell. What is it’s beating heart (meaning) and why do we want to tell it (relevance)? I often thin that by answering those questions we create a foundation of belief we can draw on when writerly doubt seeks to cut us off from the act of creating.

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Rural Identity

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Environmental Issues

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Building Community In and Through Fiction

Maine Public | All Books Considered

Authors Love Bookstores: Gregory Brown with Left Bank Books

Book Passage Live | The Lowering Days

Rockland Public Library | A Maine Author Talk by Gregory Brown

Bangor Daily News | Maine-based authors Gregory Brown and Richard Russo in Conversation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUzdUKcwkBoTh

Alaska Quarterly Review | Greg Brown Reads from The Lowering Days

Gregory’s Upcoming Events

Gregory’s Other Writing

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Publishers Marketplace | Buzz Book
Goodreads | Best Debut Novel
Library Journal | Best Debut Novel
Longlisted for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award
AudioFile Magazine Earphones Award
Narrative Magazine 30Below Award

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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