The Hilliker Curse: Book summary and reviews of The Hilliker Curse by James Ellroy

The Hilliker Curse

My Pursuit of Women

by James Ellroy

The Hilliker Curse by James Ellroy X
The Hilliker Curse by James Ellroy
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2010
    224 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

The legendary crime writer gives us a raw, brutally candid memoir - as high intensity and as riveting as any of his novels - about his obsessive search for "atonement in women."

The year was 1958. Jean Hilliker had divorced her fast-buck hustler husband and resurrected her maiden name. Her son, James, was ten years old. He hated and lusted after his mother and "summoned her dead." She was murdered three months later.

The Hilliker Curse is a predator's confession, a treatise on guilt and on the power of malediction, and above all, a cri de cœur. James Ellroy unsparingly describes his shattered childhood, his delinquent teens, his writing life, his love affairs and marriages, his nervous breakdown, and the beginning of a relationship with an extraordinary woman who may just be the long-sought Her.

A layered narrative of time and place, emotion and insight, sexuality and spiritual quest, The Hilliker Curse is a brilliant, soul-baring revelation of self. It is unlike any memoir you have ever read.

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Media Reviews

"A searing and difficult but utterly compelling and often heartbreaking memoir of love and obsession from noir master James Ellroy." - Shelf Awareness

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Author Information

James Ellroy Author Biography

Lee Earle "James" Ellroy is an American crime fiction writer and essayist. Ellroy is known for a telegrammatic prose style, wherein he frequently omits connecting words and uses only short, staccato sentences, and in particular for the novels The Black Dahlia (1987), The Big Nowhere (1988), L.A. Confidential (1990), White Jazz (1992), American Tabloid (1995), The Cold Six Thousand (2001), and Blood's a Rover (2009).

When his parents divorced in 1954, his mother got custody and moved to El Monte (a low income area in L.A). His mother was murdered there in 1958. James Ellroy's attempt to solve this still unsolved murder was the subject of his 1996 nonfiction work My Dark Places. After his mother's death, he moved in with his father.

Ellroy claims to have been turned on to crime fiction by ...

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