Readers' Comments


The Wild Seed in Edward Guthmann's intense, moving and deeply personal mini-memoir is his reckless but charismatic older brother Dan, who tumbles and free-falls through the '60s, '70s and early '80s, leaving a string of friends, lovers and wounded family in the wake of his often chaotic life journey. In the course of probing his own memories of his elusive brother, Guthmann uncovers uncomfortable truths about family dynamics that anyone can recognize, and along the way renders a wonderfully evocative picture of an American family's life in turbulent times. It's a beautiful piece of writing about love, loss, understanding and redemption.      

Blair Jackson, author of Garcia: An American Life and This Is All a Dream We Dreamed: An Oral History of the Grateful Dead

Wild Seed reverberates far beyond the specifics of Edward Guthmann's relationship with his late brother Dan. It is a powerful invitation to anyone who reads it to look back at one own's life and examine how memory can be informed by early events that may actually color our perceptions of reality. What is memory? Is it a record of reality or is it reality filtered through the prism of our early emotions? And will forgiveness alter memory? Readers of Wild Seed will search for answers to these questions in their own remembered experiences of coming of age just as Guthmann searched for his brother in writing this memoir. 

 Rob Jerome, award-winning photojournalist

Wild Seed evokes a familiar time and place where we Baby Boomers were at once living in suburban harmony and training in a boot camp of personal wars. I recognized the author's yearning to understand his parents and the brother who challenged his family to find peace. Wild Seed is a thoughtful and beautiful memoir.

Benay Nordby, author of The Full Ripened Grain: A Memoir of Healing and Hope

Edward Guthmann has discovered the secret of time travel in Wild Seed. He transports the reader into the world of the mid-century suburban American Dream in southern California. He invites us to meet his family, especially his older brother Dan who seems to want nothing more than to get out. Reading Wild Seed I felt like I was in one of the wild rides that Dan loved. It’s worth the trip.

David Leopold, author of The Hirschfeld Century: Portrait of an Artist and His Age

In Wild Seed, Edward Guthmann shares a bravely personal story of Lost and Found: a soulful exploration of the failed connection with his troubled older brother some thirty-five years after his death. Like the fleeting memory of a dream, this book left me re-visiting similar losses of my own, a process both sad and very welcome. This is a beautifully written and deeply felt story. It invites the reader to examine his or her most important relationships and to know that it is never too late to heal them. Highly recommended.

Susan Raeburn, clinical psychologist and co-author of Creative Recovery: A Complete Addiction Treatment Program That Utilizes Your Natural Creativity

Wild Seed is a beautifully written and tender reflection of life, loss and the role that our families play, for better or for worse, in who we are as people. Reading it brought to the surface many experiences, memories, relationships and friends from my own growing up in Southern California. Most importantly, the author has made himself vulnerable not only by sharing the story of his brother Dan, but by opening a window into his own internal life. 

Wesley Chesbro, former member of California State Senate, California State Assembly and Humboldt County Board of Supervisors

I devoured Wild Seed in less than two hours.  Actually, “devoured” is not the right word, for this is a book of great delicacy.  Instead I allowed myself to float along the vapors of the author’s memory and intuition and research. It is a beautifully written book. It is so spare, yet every sentence contains worlds.

Maura Nolan, yoga instructor and end-of-life doula

Edward Guthmann’s touching memoir about his brother Dan’s life and death, and his own search to understand their tumultuous relationship, speaks with a tender and vulnerable voice -- in stark contrast to Dan’s fearlessness and high-risk attraction to life's edges. Wild Seed manages to be thought-provoking, humorous and sad, while always remaining honest.

Nancy Calef, author of Peoplescapes -- My Story From Purging to Painting