"[R]ush out and pick up Now Dig This." Jonathan Ames, Bookforum
Now Dig This
The Unspeakable Writings of Terry Southern 1950-1995
978-0-8021-3894-1 • $13.00 • Paperback • May 2002
Acclaimed novelist, Beat godfather, prolific screenwriter, and one of the founders of New Journalism, as well as the only guy to wear shades on the Sgt. Pepper's album cover, Terry Southern was an audacious, outrageous American original. Now Dig This is a wild, uncensored, and hugely entertaining collection that spans the gamut of his stellar career.
From an interview with Henry Green during the salad days of The Paris Review, to his account of life neck-high in girls and cocaine aboard the Rolling Stones' tour jet, Now Dig This is a journey through Terry Southern's America, spanning the buttoned-down 1950s through the sexual revolution, and continuing on to his death in 1995. It places Southern's more formal, early short stories alongside the uproarious "Wormball Man" skit he wrote for Saturday Night Live, based on items in the Weekly World News. It collects his Esquire piece covering the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention with Jean Genet and William S. Burroughs and his remembrances of twentieth-century legends like Abbie Hoffman, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and director Stanley Kubrick, with whom he wrote Dr. Strangelove. Now Dig This is a vivid testament from an American literary lion, and a hilarious, engrossing, and enlightening statement on the changing America in which he lived and worked.