Reading Matters

David Payne to talk about brother’s death

I’m giving you plenty of notice because it’s going to be a very special evening.

Hillsborough novelist and memoirist David Payne will be reading from his new memoir, “Walking to Avalon: A Brother’s Story,” at 7 p.m. Thursday at Park Road Books, 4139 Park Road Shopping Center.

Payne writes exquisitely and painfully about his relationship with his brilliant but troubled younger brother, George, who was diagnosed as bi-polar and died from an apparent suicide.

Before George’s death, Payne and his brother spent a week together, as George helped Payne pack up his Vermont household for a move back to North Carolina. George was driving a rental truck behind Payne when he fishtailed and died instantly.

Payne’s feelings about his brother are never simple. But they seem always honest.

George’s death sent Payne on his own interior journey – examining family patterns down the generations, many of which he believes he inherited, and seeking with the help of group therapy to cut to bone about his own behavior and habits. It’s an inspring journey, one that must’ve been difficult for this acclaimed novelist used to the convenient mask of fiction.

The reading is free and open to the public.