Matthew Brown is a rising star in the “New South” political machine. He’s also, he knows, a complete fraud.
Riding a wave of accomplishments by colleagues and subordinates through various government agencies, Matthew has ascended to associate director of the Department of Corrections, and his potential has caught the eye of the party power brokers, who are priming him for even grander political office.
But suddenly tasked with organizing the state’s first execution in a decade, Matthew’s comfortable charade is threatened when a sprawling investigation uncovers a potentially deadly ecological scandal that he himself may have unwittingly set in motion. Meanwhile, Matthew finds himself declared legally dead, putting him in a seemingly unending, absurd struggle to literally reclaim his life.
In the midst of this storm arrives Hero, the 12-year-old daughter Matthew never knew existed. Possessing a bruising wit and new emotional wounds, she relentlessly batters Matthew, who comes to believe that this relationship with his newfound daughter may be his only chance for personal redemption.
The Late Matthew Brown is a satire of identity, bureaucracy, and the struggle to build meaningful relationships while living within two worlds at once, the Old South and the New.
Essays and Articles
"Death came to the early pioneers at least as soon as their realized dreams and often long before. The Mormon pioneers, much like others of their age, were dedicated to celebrating the new lives that were born to their budding civilization and memorializing those that departed. By necessity, they protected the bodies of the dead carefully to prevent the ravages of animals and weather.
But time buries the past, even monuments to its remains. Which is how a construction company working in downtown Salt Lake quite by accident unearthed the bodies of Milton Therkill and his fellow Missourian settlers in 1986, after some 140 years at peace in the ground...."
THE LATE MATTHEW BROWN
Utah Arts Council Original Writing Novel Competition
The Great Novel Competition
15 Bytes/Artists of Utah
"PRAIRIE DOGS" (short story)
Family Matters Contest
"HOT BOILED PEANUTS"
Utah Writers Competition
(An interview with author Lance Olsen)
"As the author of 10 novels, four short-story collections, four critical studies, one hypertext, a poetry chapbook, and a textbook about fiction writing, as well as editor of two collections of essays about innovative contemporary fiction and chair of the board of edgy publisher Fiction Collective 2 (FC2), Lance Olsen is a bit of an academic and intellectual renaissance man...."
From spirituality to scholarship, Professor Kathryn Stockton asks difficult questions—and sometimes finds unexpected answers.
"No one would confuse the road to Salt Lake City with the one to Damascus.
But for Kathryn Bond Stockton, the journey that brought her from a nearly ordained Episcopal priest to professor of English, celebrated queer theorist, and director of the University of Utah Gender Studies Program was, like the Apostle Paul’s, a spiritual journey, one filled with unexpected revelations and inspiration...."
"Every neighborhood had its own rumor, and theirs lived in the series of canals that wound behind their homes, through narrow aluminum sheet tunnels connecting under the roadways; the kind of rumor where they said it had legs, it got around, and enough people would say they saw it, say they knew someone who saw it, or maybe it saw them, late around midnight while camping in their backyards near the banks, that they could believe it. They heard its guttural moan and knew how in the darkness, cut only by a thin alkaline ray of light, you could see two tiny red dots floating in the black. This was the beast of their imaginations; it swallowed them whole....."