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John Brizzolara

John Brizzolara
Born in Chicago on December 11, 1950, Brizzolara was a writer since childhood. At age 29, he sold his first two short stories to Weird Tales. His writing appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, Amazing Stories, Whispers, Weirdbook, and Twilight Zone Magazine. His short fiction has been translated to German, Russian, and Japanese.

In 1987 he published his first novel, Wirecutter, followed by the science-fiction novel Empire's Horizon in 1989. Thunder Moon, a sequel to Wirecutter, soon followed. In 1997 he won the National Conference Media Award for Journalism for a San Diego Magazine story on hate crimes. He reviewed numerous books for the Union-Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. He also wrote for the Chicago Reader, Pages, and San Diego Home Garden & Lifestyle. Brizzolara wrote for the Reader from 1989 to 2013, including a weekly column, TGIF.

John died in his sleep at Father Joe’s Villages on October 11, 2016. He was 65. Brizzolara wrote about his struggles with alcoholism and other ailments to which he succumbed.

Samples of his notable essays can be found in our From the Archives series. Other notable stories include:

Sadness and Strange Endings (Judith Moore interviews Brizzolara)

Set a Needle on My Heart and Play Those Songs of Love and Pain (author's record collection)

Flesh of My Flesh (unending romance of fatherhood)

My Belly (author's aging body)

Articles by John Brizzolara

Oddness of the Waldorf School, food critic Eleanor Widmer, why San Diego's light is unique, MiG killer Randy Cunningham

A Single Mother Alone in the World If the child-support check is late, I let it be. I resent having to beg for anything. I used to be on my ex like white on rice, ...

September 14, 2020
John Brizzolara writes about his mom, his son, his dad, his editor, rehab, beach reading habits

“What happened to your shorts?” Let me tell you about my leave of absence. Like you're dying to know. One letter poured in. It was hard to tell exactly what the writer was trying to ...

August 31, 2020
What makes a home in San Diego

Site 151’s Four Million Dollar Mansion Ralph Genovese doesn't use the word "mansion" to describe the three dwellings he will construct on a mountaintop in Rancho Santa Fe. He prefers "estate." He's building one of ...

August 2, 2020
Hillcrest, neighborhood of ghosts

Gayborhood or ghetto? “I still love Jesus, and I’m still a conservative,” Texana R., 17, tells me. “I just am — I don’t care what my mama or my aunt or my step sister or ...

Cross-border kidnapping, German cyclist killed at Camp Pendleton

Street neighbor in the East Village Yes, I was on the street, but I was home-schooling my daughter. By John Brizzolara, July 26, 2013 When Vietnamese people say American they always mean white I grew ...

June 6, 2020
That pesky natural San Diego light

A Single Mother Alone in the World If the child-support check is late, I let it be. I resent having to beg for anything. I used to be on my ex like white on rice, ...

April 18, 2020
Little Italy – will the flavor last?

Tiny rooms in Little Italy On a Little Italy plot where a Victorian house stood for more than a century, construction of tiny apartments is underway. The house, built in the 1890s at the corner ...

San Marcos – still growing

Night people of San Marcos Miss Rincon said it was her habit to spend the night in the public bathrooms at Richmar Park, at the corner of Firebird Lane and Richmar Avenue, around the corner ...

Best Reader stories from 2009

A San Diego Charger football game is one thing, fandom is something else Silva's powder blue coffin was trimmed with gold — Charger colors. His body was dressed in a jersey honoring his favorite player, ...

February 29, 2020
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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