top of page

San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2022


"Brilliant...pulses with life." Publishers Weekly


"A book that lives up to the challenge of its title." —Sam Lipsyte, author of Hark 

"Truly unforgettable." —Chelsea Hodson, author of Tonight I'm Someone Else

"Life in all its nakedness." —Andrea Bajani, author of If You Kept a Record of Sins

"Highly enjoyed." —Tao Lin, author of Leave Society 

"An enduring work of art." —Marcy Dermansky, author of Hurricane Girl 


*** available now in trade paperback and e-book editions.***

*** also available in an audiobook edition, narrated by brad listi ***


about the book:


A darkly funny meditation on creativity and family, Be Brief and Tell Them Everything tracks the life of a middle-aged author who is struggling to write his next novel while trying to come to grips with his son’s disabilities, set against a backdrop of ecological catastrophe and escalating human insanity in contemporary Los Angeles. A beautiful, powerful, concise work of autofiction that is reminiscent of My Struggle and Grief is the Thing with Feathers, Be Brief documents the stops and starts of adulthood and marriage, and the joys and challenges of parenting, while defining what it means to be a good man, and a good writer.   

more praise for be brief and tell them everything:

"An affecting work of autofiction...brilliant...[an] engaging and moving chronicle of melancholia and joy...pulses with life." Publishers Weekly 


"[Listi] nails how oddly difficult it is to be a kind and decent middle-aged man in these absurd and challenging times...[toggling] between observational humor about the mundane and deeply moving passages about fatherhood and marriage.San Francisco Chronicle, Best Books of 2022


"...dark, touching, and often funny..." The Millions

"So beautifully written." —Debbie Millman, Design Matters podcast

"Be Brief and Tell Them Everything is gripping and sad and frustrating, transparent and ugly and beautiful. It's a gut punch...a visceral and vicarious invitation into someone's head even as they're trying to climb out of it." —LitReactor 


"Listi is an exceptional writer." Cleveland Review of Books

"A masterpiece...My favorite book of the year..." —Brendan O'Meara, host of The Creative Nonfiction Podcast  

"I loved it." —Michelle Redo, host of the Daring to Tell podcast

"I loved the book." —Michael Wheaton, host of The Lives of Writers Podcast

“I enjoyed the book so much I wish he wasn’t so brief.” —The Big Smoke


" prose, tenderly rendered, and darkly laugh out loud moments...I wasn't able to put [it] down." —Kailey Brennan DelloRusso, Write or Die Tribe

"Highly readable and enjoyable." —Elisa Gabbert


"A work of autofiction that I could not put relatable as a writer, as a human, as someone preoccupied with themes of death, finding meaning...beautiful, funny, poignant, concise...I can't recommend [it] highly enough." —Rachel Krantz, author of Open and host of the Help Existing podcast

"Terrifyingly brilliant and human and implicating...What I love about Be Brief and Tell Them Everything is that it is engaged in productive bewilderment. " —Steve Almond, author of All the Secrets of the World

"A love letter of a book." Tell Me About Your Father podcast  


"Listi is a masterful storyteller." Kristin Iversen

"A beautiful and wise book about grief and creativity, shot through with [Listi's] self-deprecating humor." —Chantal V. Johnson, author of Post-Traumatic

"A book that lives up to the challenge of its title, Be Brief and Tell Them Everything is an elegant distillation of a varied life full of early love and early death, family heartbreak, financial precarity, spiritual uncertainty, the terror of contemporary life, and the quest for meaning. In Brad Listi’s movingly rendered particulars many other people will discover points of poignant intersection, and delight as well in the wisdom, humor, warmth and intelligence of a writer who doesn’t turn away from the difficult, and who will, at least on the page, put the fucking noodles in the blender." —Sam Lipsyte, author of Hark   


"In Be Brief and Tell Them Everything, Brad Listi uses sharp, crystalline prose to navigate through moments of failure, love, fatherhood, psychedelics, and the unknown. What does it mean to be an artist, a husband, a father? This novel's reach toward meaning and understanding is truly unforgettable—I loved this book."  —Chelsea Hodson, author of Tonight I'm Someone Else


"I highly enjoyed Be Brief and Tell Them Everything, which I found funny and entertaining but also moving, serious, tender, and contemplative. It lives up to its title." —Tao Lin, author of Leave Society 


"It’s a wonder the long-awaited second novel by Brad Listi didn’t kill him—or at least render him mad. Instead, he’s produced an enduring work of art and a moving guide to truth, love, and perseverance." 

—Marcy Dermansky, author of Very Nice  


"We already knew that Brad Listi was a master of listening. His podcasts are a model for anyone: Brad asks a question and then is silent, and his silence draws us in. What we didn't know is that Brad also listens while writing, that he can draw life in all its nakedness, in all its mystery, with all its pain and hope, into the pages of a book.  That even when he speaks about himself, he holds the microphone out to the world." —Andrea Bajani, Author of If You Kept a Record of Sins

bottom of page