Brett Busang Talks H Street
H Street Uncovered: A Journalism Capstone Project
American University
Video by Kate Priddy

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Brett Busang describes himself as a prolific essayist, a moderately interesting playwright, a lapsed painter, an ambivalent anglophile and a failed ballplayer. 

He likes people who listen, places from which soccer is notably absent, books without chase-scenes, peace of mind that doesn't come at the expense of thinking, and food he can eat with his fingers.

Having now turned his attention to writing fiction, Brett says, "I like writing fiction because I never know what's going to happen; and because it is always autobiographical and never autobiographical enough. I like to write in various genres because I am easily bored, relentlessly curious, and also because my tendency to 'dart around' is an asset in no other place."

About the Book...

Set in London, beginning in the early sixties and spanning five decades, I Shot Bruce follows Vijay Asunder, a rock-and-roll wannabe who, many decades after he is spurned by the manager of a singing group that eventually becomes world-famous, finally decides that he must kill the one person that symbolizes the success that has eluded him, his replacement. During a fifty-year span of time, Asunder follows the fortunes of the band and its various members as he pursues the alternate and ever-so-quiet, but not-very-satisfying life he's made for himself as an antique dealer. Yet with each passing year, and with each reminder of "what might have been", his obsession for revenge grows, until finally he must act. 

Conceived loosely on the untimely dismissal and subsequent life of Pete Best, the so-called 'fifth Beatle', Vijay Asunder's perspective and his ultimate commitment to retribution differs markedly from Ringo Starr's predecessor. Intelligent and intense, I Shot Bruce chronicles and dramatizes obsession to the point of self-destruction.
Laughter and Early Sorrow (and other stories) 
Nine short stories by Brett Busang

Almost everybody who was born in the post-agrarian period separated by the two great wars grew up in a place whose growing pains were painfully obvious. 

It was into such a place that my parents moved with my brother and me in tow. Our house was small, but serviceable; our neighbors forthcoming, but not so morbidly curious that they pried, and our world expanded in one way as it shrank in another. The sky was as blue as it is said to be in heaven. And we were so adrift in space and time that we became the terrestrial astronauts that so troubled Rod Serling that he had to write something about us each week for television.

Here the Main Streets of our grandparents were left to developers, who preferred parking lots to promenades. Here generously proportioned school buildings beckoned to a fertile population that would supply them so handily that, once a prototype was made, it could be endlessly reproduced. Here pastimes flourished as they never had before. 

Here mostly white people settled in as Ricky Nelson serenaded them. Here needs were synonymous with desires. And here a culture that was made possible by the received wisdom of Father Coughlin, Leo Durocher, and Lawrence Welk sat back, adjusted its goggles, and proceeded, with limitations that grew with every sack of fertilizer that guaranteed a more perfect lawn, to have the time of its life.

It was here that I grew up and here (mostly) that I have roamed, from ball field to abbreviated living room to the topsy-turvy relations between hard reality and plausible delusion. I hope, in capturing some of its essence in prose, that the small underbellies which often lurk beneath the bigger ones become crudely, if only temporarily, visible.

Coming in June 2017!