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Jerzy: Book summary and reviews of Jerzy by Jerome Charyn

Jerzy by Jerome Charyn

Jerzy

by Jerome Charyn

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  • Published:
  • Mar 2017
    240 pages
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About this book

Book Summary

In Jerzy: A Novel, Jerome Charyn tells the startling story of a celebrated author whose life was warped by war, shrouded in mystery, and broken by scandal.

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"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

"Starred Review. "Daringly imaginative and profoundly insightful." - Booklist

"Through triangulating voices and stories, Charyn manages to get close to the truth, and does so with beautiful, spare prose." - Publishers Weekly

This information about Jerzy was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Jerome Charyn Author Biography

Jerome Charyn was born May 13, 1937 and is the author of more than fifty works of fiction and nonfiction, including 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.

Link to Jerome Charyn's Website

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