Being There by Jerzy Kosinski

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A modern classic now available from Grove Press, Being There is one of the most popular and significant works from a writer of international stature. It is the story of Chauncey Gardiner - Chance, an enigmatic but distinguished man who emerges from nowhere to become an heir to the throne of a Wall Street tycoon, a presidential policy adviser, and a media icon. Truly "a man without qualities," Chance's straightforward responses to popular concerns are heralded as visionary. But though everyone is quoting him, no one is sure what he's really saying. And filling in the blanks in his background proves impossible. Being There is a brilliantly satiric look at the unreality of American media culture that is, if anything, more trenchant now than ever.

About Jerzy Kosinski

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Jerzy Kosinski, 1933 - 1991 Novelist Jerzy Kosinski was born June 8, 1933, in Poland to Russian parents who had fled the Revolution. In 1939, he was separated from his family when the Nazi's invaded, and he wandered through villages for six years, surviving by his wits. In shock, he remained mute from the age of nine to fourteen. He was finally reunited with his family and attains a professorship at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. In 1957, Kosinski arrived in New York with his Polish passport, little money and a cyanide capsule after creating four fictional professors who recommend him for a nonexistent foundation grant. He learned to speak fluent English in four months and within a year, had begun work on a study of the collective mentality called "The Future is Ours, Comrade." He published this under the pen name Joseph Novak and had his writing recommended to him by fellow students at Columbia University. He won the National Book Award for the novel "Steps" and his other novels include "Being There, "The Devil Tree," "Cockpit," and "Blind Date." "Blind Date" tells the story of the Manson killings, which is where Kosinski would have been, with his friends on Cielo Drive in Los Angeles, if he had not been stuck in JFK Airport dealing with mis-tagged luggage. He writes about the killings not because they were his friends, but to show how unpredictable life is. In 1968, after six years of marriage, his wife Mary died of brain cancer. He committed suicide on May 3, 1991 at the age of 58.
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove Press. 162 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships, Sports & Outdoors. Fiction

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After the literal horror of The Painted Bird and the inchoate horror of Steps, this is a seriocomic cryptofable, a commentary on 'being there' or rather not being at all, in which passivity is perhaps a kindlier fate than participation.

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