Tom Bradley (author)

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Tom Bradley
Tom Bradley in 2007.jpeg
Bradley in 2007
BornThomas Iver Bradley
(1954-03-17) March 17, 1954 (age 69)
Utah, U.S.
  • Novelist
  • essayist
  • short story writer

Thomas Iver Bradley (born March 17, 1954) is an American novelist, essayist and writer of short stories. He is the author of The Sam Edwine Pentateuch, a five-book series, various volumes of which have been nominated for the Editor's Book Award, [1] the New York University Bobst Prize, [2] and the AWP Award Series in the Novel. [3] Tom Bradley's nonfiction is regularly featured by Arts & Letters Daily, and has also appeared in, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and Ambit Magazine. [4] He has been characterized as an "outsider" by the LA Times book blog. [5]


His sixth book, Fission Among the Fanatics, was named Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2007 by 3:AM Magazine, with the citation, a literary giant among pygmies. [6] NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu called this book "the first appearance of a genre so strange we are turning away from naming it..." [7] The publication of his seventh book, Lemur, by Raw Dog Screaming Press [8] is part of the Bizarro fiction movement. [9] According to The Advocate , "[Lemur] could do as much to raise the rainbow flag as two medium-size Midwestern Stonewall Day parades." [10] Tom Bradley has meanwhile contributed to the theoretical elucidation of the Bizarro aesthetic with his criticism [11] [12] and his interviews. [13] [14] His eighth novel, Vital Fluid, is based on the life, writings and performances of stage hypnotist John-Ivan Palmer and was published by Crossing Chaos Enigmatic Ink.

His twentieth book, Family Romance (illustrated by Nick Patterson), is forthcoming from Debra Di Blasi's Jaded Ibis Press, described by Forbes magazine as a "hotpoint where the novel is undergoing radical transformation to reflect its time." [15]


Tom Bradley was born in Utah during a time when of hydrogen bomb tests were still performed aboveground. [16] In later life, he lived in the People's Republic of China for many years and lost friends in the Tiananmen Square Massacre. [17]

The author has stated that as an unintended victim of US nuclear testing, [18] he gravitated to Hiroshima [19] and Nagasaki, [20] where he has written strident criticisms of the Japanese educational system [21] In the opinion of Israeli journalist Barry Katz, who writes for 3:AM Magazine in Paris, Tom Bradley deliberately courts controversy: "He does seem bent on leaving absolutely nobody unpissed-off. His venom’s no less ecumenical than gratuitous." [22] Rain Taxi Review of Books expresses the notion as follows: "As proof of his leaving no one un-offended, he's been nudged out of every university where he has taught. For the past two decades he has lived the life of an ex-pat laugh assassin, tucked away in a volcanic mountain on the island of Kyushu". [23]

However, in composing the Critical Appendix for Fission Among the Fanatics, The Advocate writer Cye Johan arrived at a different conclusion: "I tell you that Dr. Bradley has devoted his existence to writing because he intends for every center of consciousness, everywhere, in all planes and conditions (not just terrestrial female Homo sapiens in breeding prime), to love him forever, starting as soon as possible, though he's prepared to wait thousands of centuries after he's dead". [24]

He claims paternal descent from Mormon handcart pioneers [25] who were excommunicated almost immediately upon arriving in Deseret, [26] from whom he inherited his "whole hefty metabolism" [27] and his remarkable height. [28] 3:AM Magazine describes him as "sociopathically tall." [29] He also claims to have descended maternally from an earlier Nagasaki expatriate, Thomas Blake Glover. [30]

Regarding the question [31] [32] of the extent to which his fictional alter-ego, Sam Edwine, is autobiographical, Tom Bradley has written that while the character is more intelligent and has had a great variety of experiences that he has not, they are essentially alike. [33]


Major Critical Studies of Tom Bradley's Books

Selected works


(Both recipients of the 3:AM Magazine Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award)


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  1. The Spirit of Writing, Tarcher Putnam (NYC), 2001 ( ISBN   1-58542-127-8)
  2. The Edgier Waters, Snow Books (London), 2006 ( ISBN   1-905-0052-02)
  3. Sudden Stories, Mammoth Books, 2003 ( ISBN   0-9718059-5-4)
  4. Ambit Magazine, Issue 189, Summer 2007 ISSN   0002-6972 (London)
  5. Los Angeles Times, August 12, 2008
  6. 3:AM Magazine » 3:AM Awards 2007
  7. back cover, Fission Among the Fanatics, Spuyten Duyvil Books (NYC), 2007
  8. Raw Dog Screaming Press Archived 2006-08-21 at the Wayback Machine
  9. Bizarro Central Article on Tom Bradley Archived 2009-12-08 at the Wayback Machine
  10. The Advocate, review of Tom Bradley's Lemur Archived 2010-01-03 at the Wayback Machine
  11. The Nab Gets Posthumously Bizarroized
  12. Dream People Archived 2008-07-24 at the Wayback Machine ; see also "Ovid Reanimated," Put It Down in a Book, The Drill Press, 2009, pages 3-19
  13. Novelist Tom Bradley Interviewed at Unlikely Stories
  14. Bizarro Central, Interview with Tom Bradley
  15. The 21st Century Novel: Jaded Ibis Sees a 'Mashup'
  16. Fission Among the Fanatics, Spuyten Duyvil Books (NYC), 2007: page 5: "[Tom Bradley] was born downwind in Utah in the heat of the aboveground hydrogen bomb test era... [he] remembers in kindergarten peeking out the lunchroom window and seeing the sky blacker than midnight. "
  17. Gadfly Online
  18. nthposition online magazine: My public ministry among the heathen
  19. McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Holiday in Hiroshima Archived 2009-09-30 at the Portuguese Web Archive
  20. identity theory | alphabet zen - "the bloodsucker of nagasaki" by tom bradley
  21. Salon Books | Turning Japanese Archived 2007-02-11 at the Wayback Machine
  22. King Kong Vs. Godzilla: Tom Bradley Happy-Fucks Osaka; see also Critical Appendix 2, Put It Down in a Book, The Drill Press, 2009, pages 315-354
  23. Rain Taxi Review of Books, Vol.13, No. 2, Summer 2008
  24. Critical Appendix, Fission Among the Fanatics, Spuyten Duyvil Books (NYC), 2007, page 289
  25. ibid., page 129
  26. The Evil Glee
  27. The Spirit of Writing, Tarcher Putnam (NYC), 2001 ( ISBN   1-58542-127-8), page 46
  28. The Practical Writer, Penguin Books (NYC), 2004 ( ISBN   0142004006, ISBN   978-0-14-200400-5), pages 190-191
  29. 3:AM Magazine reportage of a public performance in Osaka
  30. identity theory | alphabet zen - "the bloodsucker of nagasaki" by tom bradley
  31. Review of Acting Alone: a novel of nuns, neo-Nazis and NORAD, Dr. Dalma Brunauer, Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, March 1995
  32. A Japan of the Mind (3:AM Magazine, Paris)
  33. "...are you Sam Edwine?" All Hands On, Elephant Rock Books (Chicago), 2004 ( ISBN   0-9753746-05)
  34. "The Church of Latter-Day Eugenics by Chris Kelso & Tom Bradley REVIEW". Cultured Vultures. 2018-04-24. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  35. Namir, Sauda (4 December 2017). "Excerpt: The Church of Latter Day Eugenics" . Retrieved 2019-06-21.