A LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE WINNER
Booker Prize-shortlisted and New York Times bestselling author Paul Auster’s comprehensive, landmark biography of the great American writer Stephen Crane.
A BOSTON GLOBE BEST BOOK OF 2021
With Burning Boy
, celebrated novelist Paul Auster tells the extraordinary story of Stephen Crane, best known as the author of The Red Badge of Courage
, who transformed American literature through an avalanche of original short stories, novellas, poems, journalism, and war reportage before his life was cut short by tuberculosis at age twenty-eight.
Auster’s probing account of this singular life tracks Crane as he rebounds from one perilous situation to the next: A controversial article written at twenty disrupts the course of the 1892 presidential campaign, a public battle with the New York police department over the false arrest of a prostitute effectively exiles him from the city, a star-crossed love affair with an unhappily married uptown girl tortures him, a common-law marriage to the proprietress of Jacksonville’s most elegant bawdyhouse endures, a shipwreck results in his near drowning, he withstands enemy fire to send dispatches from the Spanish-American War, and then he relocates to England, where Joseph Conrad becomes his closest friend and Henry James weeps over his tragic, early death.
In Burning Boy
, Auster not only puts forth an immersive read about an unforgettable life but also, casting a dazzled eye on Crane’s astonishing originality and productivity, provides uniquely knowing insight into Crane’s creative processes to produce the rarest of reading experiences–the dramatic biography of a brilliant writer as only another literary master could tell it.