Ian Brennan is probably best known as a Grammy-winning producer, working with acts that include Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Tinariwen, Lucinda Williams and David Hidalgo (Los Lobos). Some folks also know him as the author of three books (and a fourth one coming soon).
Brennan’s most recent novella, Sister Maple Syrup Eyes, is a fictionalized account of a man who survives his partner’s rape. It’s something Brennan knows about from a very personal experience.
At age 21, Brennan’s life was forever changed when his first love was raped. He describes his experience this way:
I knew full well that the trauma I’d experienced was infinitesimal compared to hers. Yet, nonetheless, it was still devastating and changed the course of my entire life. The one thing I was determined to do was to try to produce something good from that bad, a celebration and memorial of what was, and that if it leant some small healing to even one person, it was somehow worth the while to help tip the scales however insignificantly back towards sanity.
Brennan has gone on to train people in violence prevention, anger-management, and conflict resolution at shelters, schools, hospitals, clinics, jails and drug-treatment centers across the US and in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. This book delves more deeply, exploring the experience of the other victim of rape.
Watch Brennan’s guerrilla reading here, and learn more about the book.