“Puberty can shock a well-adjusted child into paralyzing awkwardness, but in Dan’s case the opposite occurs. His teenage years are a declaration of independence,a repudiation of tedious conformity and endless rules. His voice drops to a low register and he speaks in the slurred, barely inflected dude-speak of Southern California teenagers. When his braces come off, he loses his buck teeth and grows an aura of cocky self-possession. He looks like the young Elvis Presley, or Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway. He slicks his hair back in a modified pompadour, favors tight slacks, and polishes his black Beatle boots with a sailor’s spit shine. He affects a sleepy-eyed, full-lipped sneer that signals ‘Back off!’ to a world that seems stupid and pedestrian.”
In his spare, unvarnished memoir Wild Seed, Edward Guthmann recalls the brief and passionate life of his older brother. A reckoning with the past, an examination of memory and loss and the depth of family ties, Wild Seed endeavors to understand a reckless, fiercely independent sibling – more than 35 years after his passing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Edward Guthmann was a staff writer and film critic at the San Francisco Chronicle for 25 years, winning awards from the Californian Newspaper Publishers Assn. and the American Society of Feature and Sunday Editors. Also a filmmaker, he directed and produced the one-hour documentary Return to Cameroun. His writing has been published in several publications and anthologies, and he continues to work as a freelance writer.