brandon r. schrand



“This bizarre, gripping, yet balanced account of a charismatic man and an enterprise that prospered under the guise of religion will appeal to true crime fans and those interested in religious cults.”—Library Journal

“A tour de force of research, Brandon Schrand’s Psychiana Man examines the life of Frank B. Robinson… a charismatic spiritual figure and ‘pathological liar and conman’, who nevertheless commanded love and total loyalty from his followers.”–Mary Clearman Blew, author of All But the Waltz and Sweep Out the Ashes.

“In meticulous and mellifluous prose, Brandon Schrand writes a fascinating biography that appeals not only with its curious tale of a mail-order religion, its charlatan founder, and their improbable success despite or because of egregious deceptions, but also with its just plain gripping writing style. Schrand’s approach gathers and guides and ultimately lets the strange story tell itself.”–Patrick Madden, author of Quotidiana, Sublime Physick, and Disparates.


“Brandon R. Schrand tells a triumphant tale of  . . .  moving away from the dark shadow of a deceased ex-con father to become a loving dad.” —The Washington Post (review of “Comparative History,” from The Book of Dads).

Works Cited is a riveting story about literature’s potential to transform a life, as we watch an undisciplined teenager with vague ambitions slowly become a self-aware and loving father, husband and author.”–High Country News.

“Often forgiven, Schrand has led an oddly charmed life, which he reveals through 27 essays about the benefits and dangers of reading particular books, which he arranges alphabetically by author. This has strong book-discussion possibilities.”—Rick Roche, Booklist Starred Review of Works Cited.

“Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat: Schrand is a fantastic writer and a great storyteller, weaving detail and humor in such a way that you don’t notice the pages flying by. Complete honesty reigns in this memoir about his transition from boyhood in rural Idaho to becoming a man during college in Utah. . . As he used books throughout his life to categorize his different stages of growth, the creativity and cohesiveness of the stories are well-blended with wit and truth and are never boring.”–Idaho Statesman.

“Tracing his reading life from A to Z, Schrand’s second memoir is a self-deprecating and hilarious look at the transition, not always successful, of one Gen Xer from boy to man.”–The New York Review of Books, Starred Review of Works Cited.

“The beginning part of the title might sound like a college textbook, but it’s the rest of it that matters. Unlike your textbooks, in Works Cited: An Alphabetical Odyssey of Mayhem and Misbehavior, University of Idaho creative writing professor Brandon Schrand had us hooked within 50 words. In that space, he’s already talking about getting handcuffed alongside his friends in the Arizona desert with weed in their pockets. It’s a great first glimpse at a memoir that pairs classic literature with the missteps and mayhem of Schrand’s own life.”–The Pacific Northwest Inlander.

“Schrand’s deeply textured memoir of life in a small Idaho town boasts a rich palette of glittering iridescent hues, somber earth tones, and delicate, evocative washes. . . . Schrand’s memoir sings, stirring the senses as much as the soul.”—Whitney Scott, Booklist (starred review).

“This memoir is a classic coming-of-age story in which the author casts himself as an antihero in the tradition of Holden Caulfield. Schrand’s  stories of life at the family owned Enders Hotel in Soda Springs, ID, resonate with the wide-eyed enthusiasm of youth and yet are balanced with the sober vision of hindsight. . . He introduces readers to a ragtag and at times sorry cast of characters searching for purpose and dignity. This common narrative thread ties strongly to his search for “manhood” and his missing father. Schrand’s specificity and eye for detail transport readers to the desolate environs of the Enders Hotel. This book will appeal to anyone who has ever felt  out of place or out of step with the world.” —School Library Journal.

“The Enders Hotel is a “remarkable memoir” whose “poetic prose tells an important story.” —American Traveler.

“The Enders Hotel is an evocative account of a man coming to terms with his youth.”–Kirkus Reviews.

“Schrand . . . won the River Teeth Prize for good reason. [He] writes with elegant detachment. . . [and] has a compassionate understanding of the way we try to renew ourselves through the place we call home.”– Notre Dame Review.

“Schrand. . . proves himself a top-notch yarn spinner with this richly described, poignant memoir.” Jenny Shank,

“The Enders Hotel is a book about longing for absent men. The book opens with a gorgeous but brief chapter called ‘Restless Men,’ which links the details of an accidental shooting at the hotel’s bar during his mother’s shift to Schrand’s absent biological father (who served time in the same prison the shooter gets sentenced to). The absence of this father, whom Schrand has never met, haunts the rest of the story intermittently, mostly in the form of his longing for some glimpse of that father… The restless, disappearing me and the crumbling hotel become points of memory in a past that is stalked and recreated in this book.”—Jocelyn Bartkevicius, Fourth Genre.

“Longing is the central theme of Brandon Schrand’s extraordinary debut memoir, The Enders Hotel–the longing of a boy to be a man, the longing of the man to connect with the boy he once was, and the longing of a son for a father he never knew. . . Schrand’s lyrical prose and poetic sensibility engender beauty amid a landscape that has been gutted.  .  . It is debatable as to who has the stronger hold of the reader in this memoir–the language, the ragged band of ‘enders’ passing through the pages, or the narrator himself, a boy who desperately wants to ‘take his spot in the world of men’. . .We have so few coming-of-age memoirs that detail the inner life of boys, especially western boys.” —Western American Literature.

“Schrand’s personal story reflects larger cultural truths: The transitory lives of his grandfather and stepfather mirror those of the down-on-their luck drifters who gravitate to the hotel. . . Schrand’s memoir breaks new ground. . . [and] makes Soda Springs and towns like it finally matter.” –High Country News.

“A satisfying read.”–Roundup Magazine.

“Brandon Schrand probes the secrets of the heart and the heartland in his magical new memoir, in which the old Enders Hotel is remembered as a boy’s paradise and the town of Soda Springs, Idaho, as a community where the broken and the down-and-out were given care and compassion.  Readers will remember The Enders Hotel for its fresh new depiction of a small town’s pain and its dignity as it endures through change, setbacks, and the perplexities of love.”—Mary Clearman Blew, author of All But the Waltz and Balsamroot.

“Schrand “has written a book that underscores the promises and pitfalls of Western boomtown life.–Tucson Citizen.

“Schrand has never met his father, and his mother and stepfather are alcoholics on an unsteady quest to keep body and soul together. So it’s no surprise that the young Schrand would find his first sense of home under the perpetually leaky roof of the old Enders Hotel in Soda Springs, Idaho. As Schrand loses the only home he has known, he begins to fall into the trap scripted for such kids: small delinquencies that grow into larger acts of cruelty and rage. If he’s to be saved, he must save himself. His success is a triumph of determination.”–Barnes & Noble Review.

Colorado Review Volume 33 Number 3

  • Fall/Winter 2006


    “Confessions of a Telemarketer.” Reviewed by

    Brandon Schrand’s essay about his experience as a telemarketer for six years is unparalleled. “Confessions of a Telemarketer” takes us into the world of outbound call centers, and gives us the feel and vocabulary of a place we often only imagine as we answer our telephones. Like any good nonfiction, though, the telemarketing world is only part of the story. Schrand is much more interested in exploring the kind of person he becomes while he works the phones, one who sees “contacts as contacts and never people” and “time zones as sale zones rather than places rife with communities and neighborhoods.” His essay is riveting because we can see ourselves in his decisions, and we understand the damage that can be done when people are reduced to numbers. 

    Entire review at NewPages.

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