Details

ISBN-10: 157423241X
ISBN-13: 9781574232417
Publisher: Black Sparrow Press
Publish Date: 07/28/2020
Dimensions: 8.90" L, 5.90" W, 1.20" H

Bukowski, a Life (Centennial)

Paperback

Price: $18.95

In stock

Overview

The life of Charles Bukowski–laureate of lowlife Los Angeles–a novelist and poet who wrote as he lived. This is the only biography of Bukowski written by a close friend and collaborator.

Neeli Cherkovski began a deep friendship with Bukowski in the 1960s while guzzling beer at wrestling matches or during quieter evenings discussing life and literature in Bukowski’s East Hollywood apartment. Over the decades, those hundreds of conversations took shape as this biography–now with a new preface, “This Thing Upon Me Is Not Death: Reflections on the Centennial of Charles Bukowski.”

Bukowski, author of Ham on Rye, Post Office, and other bestselling novels, short stories, and poetry collections only ever wanted to be a writer. Maybe that’s why Bukowski’s voice is so real and immediate that readers felt included in a conversation. “In his written work, he’s a hero, a fall guy, a comic character, a womanizing lush, a wise old dog,” biographer Neeli Cherkovski writes. “His readers do more than glimpse his many-sidedness. For some, it’s a deep experience. They feel as if his writing opens places inside of themselves they might never have seen otherwise. Often a reader comes away feeling heroic, because the poet has shown them that their ordinary lives are imbued with drama.”

Full of anecdotes, wisdom, humor, and insight, this is an essential companion to the work of a great American writer. Long-time Bukowski fans will come away with fresh insights while readers new to his work will find this an exhilarating introduction. “In his death, I hear him clearly,” Cherkovski writes. “His voice comes to me resonant, full of unforced authority, a message of endurance, self-reliance, and honesty of expression. At the same time, he is also saying, ‘Poetry is a dirty dishrag. Keep laughing at yourself on the way out the door.’ “

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Reviews

Praise for Bukowski, A Life

"Cherkovski does justice to [Bukowski's] commitment to rebellion ... he brings an insider's familiarity, having been Bukowski's friend for many years. Some of the most insightful and moving parts of the narrative are Cherkovski's personal recounting of his on-again off again relationship with the writer, which has the poignancy of personal memoir."–David Daniel, The Arts Fuse

"A serious appraisal . . . a treasure trove for Bukowski fans....Cherkovski's access to his subject allows him an intimacy otherwise impossible as he guides us through the poet-author's miserable childhood; his early drinking; his years as a serf in the post office; the poetry readings that became circuses..."–John Rechy, Los Angeles Times

"One of those rare biographies that is both academically satisfying and full of life."–Washington Post

"Bukowski remains a symbol for artistic perseverance in the face of constant rejection, lifelong critical disdain and suggestions that he compromise his unique, if unsavory, vision....Cherkovski's major achievement comes as he traces the roots of the heroic, unsung literary movement that wouldn't let Bukowski's work die on the vine." –Chicago Tribune

"This profile partially de-romanticizes the Bukowski myth, allowing the integrity of the poet's works to prove him an admirable, if contradictory character." –Publishers Weekly

"Cherkovski's compassion and respect for his subject are almost heartwarmingly ever-present. He gives fans and non-fans alike another, if not totally different, picture of the great Bukowski."–Library Journal

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Details

ISBN-10: 157423241X
ISBN-13: 9781574232417
Publisher: Black Sparrow Press
Publish Date: 07/28/2020
Dimensions: 8.90" L, 5.90" W, 1.20" H
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