Trout Fishing in America Author:Richard Brautigan Trout Fishing in America is a novella written by Richard Brautigan and published in 1967. It is technically Brautigan's first novel; he wrote it in 1961 before A Confederate General From Big Sur which was published first. — Trout Fishing In America is an abstract book without a clear central storyline. Instead, the book contains a series of anecd... more »otes broken into chapters, with the same characters often reappearing from story to story. The settings of most of the chapters occur in three locales: Brautigan's childhood in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.; his day-to-day adult life in San Francisco; and a camping trip in Idaho with his wife and infant daughter during the summer of 1961. Most of the chapters were written during this trip.
The phrase "Trout Fishing in America" is used in multiple ways: it is the title of the book, a character, a hotel, the act of fishing itself, a modifier (one character is named "Trout Fishing in America Shorty"), etc. Brautigan uses the theme of trout fishing as a point of departure for thinly veiled and often comical critiques of mainstream American society and culture. Several symbolic objects, such as a mayonnaise jar, a Ben Franklin statue in San Francisco's Washington Square, trout, etc. reappear throughout the book.« less