A walk across the Golden Gate Bridge was Tom Bryan’s introduction to the work and abruptly foreshortened life of poet Weldon Kees. Thus began Bryan’s obsession with writers who disappeared — both those who are presumed to have taken their own lives and those whose lives were probably taken from them.
Cervantes spoke of the ‘strange charm’ in hoping for a good legacy. At 65, Tom Bryan had already donated his body to science, then in the face of several family deaths he decided to approach posterity afresh. He hired a professional archivist to sift, sort and box up his unpublished works and set his mind as well as his manuscripts to rest.