Talking to David Berg: A Brother and his Book

June 28, 2013, by

Run Brother RunLast Friday, Brazos Bookstore was packed as Houston lawyer David Berg read from his new book Run, Brother, Run: A Memoir of a Murder in My Family. The standing-room-only crowd listened intently as David read the foreword and took questions from the audience. The memoir focuses on the murder of his brother Alan Berg by hit man Charles Harrelson (father of actor Woody Harrelson) in Houston in the late 60s.

The memoir has been receiving significant local and national attention. The Houston Press recently included Berg in a story about “Houston’s Top 10 Authors” and the New York Times wrote, “What is remarkable about the book, though, is Mr. Berg’s writing. He elegantly brings to life the rough-and-tumble boomtown that was 1960s-era Houston, and conveys with unflinching force the emotional damage his brother’s death did to his family.”

We had the opportunity to catch up with David and ask him a few questions.

INPRINT: Could you talk about how you came to write this memoir after having kept this traumatic event in your life mostly a secret for so many decades? I imagine the process was incredibly difficult. Was it also in some ways therapeutic?

DAVID: With the book finished and a little perspective, I think I wanted to tell my brother’s story for a very long time but wasn’t conscious of it.  For four decades I rarely talked about Alan and even less about how he died.  Then, on vacation in the early nineties, I watched an astonishingly large flock of geese—so many that dusk turned dark—flying along paths that had been charted for them over millions of years and thought of how little choice they had about the direction they flew—and then I started thinking about Alan, and how much of his life, too, was predetermined, and maybe, too, his death. And all those memories came bursting through the barrier his violent death had created.  Continue reading