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Book Cover for: Jerzy, Jerome Charyn

Jerzy

Jerome Charyn

Reader Score

69%

69% of readers

recommend this book

Critic Reviews

Good

Based on 5 reviews on

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"A moving attempt to trace the connections between Kosinski's wartime struggles and postwar fictions." --New Yorker

"Jerzy is a novel with a light touch that's still capable of lifting heavy subjects. Charyn knows what he wants to do and knows how to do it. . . . [He] show[s] that all forms of power are pretty much alike, or at least connected--Hollywood, Capitol Hill, Kensington Palace, the Kremlin. Because Kosinski is a figure who proves (if we still need to learn it) that the craziness of American life may have more in common with the craziness of Russia and Europe than we like to think." --New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)

Jerzy Kosinski was a great enigma of post-World War II literature. When he exploded onto the American literary scene in 1965 with his best-selling novel The Painted Bird, he was revered as a Holocaust survivor and refugee from the world hidden behind the Soviet Iron Curtain. He won major literary awards, befriended actor Peter Sellers (who appeared in the screen adaptation of his novel Being There), and was a guest on talk shows and at the Oscars. But soon the facade began to crack, and behind the public persona emerged a ruthless social climber, sexual libertine, and pathological liar who may have plagiarized his greatest works.

Jerome Charyn lends his unmistakable style to this most American story of personal disintegration, told through the voices of multiple narrators--a homicidal actor, a dominatrix, and Joseph Stalin's daughter--who each provide insights into the shifting facets of Kosinski's personality. The story unfolds like a Russian nesting doll, eventually revealing the lost child beneath layers of trauma, while touching on the nature of authenticity, the atrocities of WWII, the allure of sadomasochism, and the fickleness of celebrity.

Jerome Charyn is the author of, most recently, A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century, Bitter Bronx: Thirteen Stories, I Am Abraham: A Novel of Lincoln and the Civil War, and The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson: A Novel.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Bellevue Literary Press
  • Publish Date: Mar 14th, 2017
  • Pages: 240
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 8.20in - 5.40in - 0.70in - 0.75lb
  • EAN: 9781942658146
  • Categories: LiteraryBiographicalHistorical - General

About the Author

Jerome Charyn is the author of more than fifty works of fiction and nonfiction, including Sergeant Salinger; Cesare: A Novel of War-Torn Berlin; The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King: A Novel of Teddy Roosevelt and His Times; In the Shadow of King Saul: Essays on Silence and Song; Jerzy: A Novel; and A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century. Among other honors, his novels have been selected as finalists for the Firecracker Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Charyn has also been named a Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture and received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in New York.

Critics’ reviews:

Praise for this book

Praise for Jerzy: A Novel

New York Times "Editors' Choice" selection

Literary Hub"Indie Press Book We're Looking Forward To" selection

Big Other "Most Anticipated Small Press Book" selection

"A moving attempt to trace the connections between Kosinski's wartime struggles and postwar fictions." --New Yorker

"Jerzy is a novel with a light touch that's still capable of lifting heavy subjects. Charyn knows what he wants to do and knows how to do it. . . . [He] show[s] that all forms of power are pretty much alike, or at least connected--Hollywood, Capitol Hill, Kensington Palace, the Kremlin. Because Kosinski is a figure who proves (if we still need to learn it) that the craziness of American life may have more in common with the craziness of Russia and Europe than we like to think." --New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)

"A stark, engrossing novel about the rise and fall of celebrated author Jerzy Kozinski whose life was deeply affected by World War II, the Holocaust, the Soviet Union, literary awards, fame and by the film, Being There, that he wrote and that starred Peter Sellers." --Stay Thirsty Magazine

"Daringly imaginative and profoundly insightful." --Booklist (starred review)

"The rise and fall of novelist Jerzy Kosinski (1933-1991) emerges in an offbeat way . . . through Charyn's resourceful imagination and always-colorful, punchy, provocative prose." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Charyn peels back the layers of myth and artifice built up by chameleon-like Polish-American novelist Jerzy Kosinski. . . . [His] clever novel underscores the sense that Kosinski was a man impossible to nail down, given to wild changes in personality and appearance depending on his own wealth, desires, and mood. Through triangulating voices and stories, Charyn manages to get close to the truth, and does so with beautiful, spare prose." --Publishers Weekly

Select Praise for Jerome Charyn

"Jerome Charyn is one of the most important writers in American literature." --Michael Chabon

"One of our finest writers. . . . Whatever milieu [Charyn] chooses to inhabit, . . . his sentences are pure vernacular music, his voice unmistakable." --Jonathan Lethem

"Charyn, like Nabokov, is that most fiendish sort of writer--so seductive as to beg imitation, so singular as to make imitation impossible." --Tom Bissell

"Among Charyn's writerly gifts is a dazzling energy--a highly inflected rapid-fire prose that pulls us along like a pony cart over rough terrain.. . . . [He is] an exuberant chronicler of the mythos of American life." --Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books

"One of our most intriguing fiction writers." --O, The Oprah Magazine

"Charyn skillfully breathes life into historical icons." --New Yorker

"Both a serious writer and an immensely approachable one, always witty and readable and . . . interesting." --Washington Post

"Absolutely unique among American writers." --Los Angeles Times

"A contemporary American Balzac." --Newsday