Compiled by his late widow Kiki, Kosinski as Storyteller is the first time Jerzy Kosinski’s lectures, interviews,and transcribed media appearances have been collected; together, they add much insight into the mind of this brilliant controversial writer and his famous novels.
Kosinski as Storyteller
978-0-8021-2033-5 • $27.50 • Cloth • Dec. 2012
Kosinski as Storyteller is a collection of interviews, lectures, and transcriptions of media appearances of the legendary literary figure, Jerzy Kosinski. Compiled by his late widow, Kiki, most are published here for the first time. These texts reveal his extraordinary gifts as a storyteller and bring new insights into the themes in his works, making this strikingly erratic individual more accessible.
After a career clouded by controversy, these pieces provide a glimpse of the man behind the literature. His most famous novel, The Painted Bird (1965), is a dark masterpiece that examines the proximity of terror and savagery to innocence and love. Elie Wiesel called the work “one of the best” in Holocaust literature. In 1982, the praise was overshadowed by fierce accusations of plagiarism from The Village Voice. The paper claimed it was written by another author and the scandal irreversibly tainted Kosinski’s literary career.
Grouped together in three main themesliterary, political, and cultural the pieces cover different aspects of Kosinski’s eventful life. He expounds on the difficulties of writing under a totalitarian government and the importance of freedom of speech, then describes the English language as a filter that enabled him to write about the disturbing events in his youth and the fine line between fiction and autobiography. He discusses the prominent role sex plays in his writing and life as well as the philosophical importance of violence in his novels. It also includes his controversial statements on Jewish identity.
Kosinski was an insightful commentator and this collection reveals the brilliant storyteller behind the public figure.