Jubilee Hitchhiker by William Hjortsberg
The Life and Times of Richard Brautigan

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This jumbo-size biography is perhaps an odd tribute to a writer whose books were tiny...It’s total overkill.
-NY Times

Synopsis

Confident and robust, Jubilee Hitchhiker is an comprehensive biography of late novelist and poet Richard Brautigan, author of Troutfishing in America and A Confederate General from Big Sur, among many others. When Brautigan took his own life in September of 1984 his close friends and network of artists and writers were devastated though not entirely surprised. To many, Brautigan was shrouded in enigma, erratic and unpredictable in his habits and presentation. But his career was formidable, an inspiration to young writers like Hjortsberg trying to get their start. Brautigan’s career wove its way through both the Beat-influenced San Francisco Renaissance in the 1950s and the “Flower Power” hippie movement of the 1960s; while he never claimed direct artistic involvement with either period, Jubilee Hitchhiker also delves deeply into the spirited times in which he lived.

As Hjortsberg guides us through his search to uncover Brautigan as a man the reader is pulled deeply into the writer’s world. Ultimately this is a work that seeks to connect the Brautigan known to his fans with the man who ended his life so abruptly in 1984 while revealing the close ties between his writing and the actual events of his life. Part history, part biography, and part memoir this etches the portrait of a man destroyed by his genius.
 

About William Hjortsberg

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William Hjortsberg (b. 1941) is an acclaimed author of novels and screenplays. Born in New York City, Hjortsberg's first success came with Alp (1969), an offbeat story of an Alpine skiing village, which Hjortsberg's friend Thomas McGuane called, "quite possibly the finest comic novel written in America." In the 1970s, Hjortsberg wrote two science fiction novels, Gray Matters (1971) and Symbiography (1973), as well as Toro! Toro! Toro! (1974), a comic jab at the macho world of bullfighting. His best-known work is Falling Angel (1978), a hard-boiled occult mystery. In 1987 the book was adapted into a film titled Angel Heart, which starred Robert De Niro and Mickey Rourke. Hjortsberg's most recent work is Jubilee Hitchhiker (2012), a biography of Richard Brautigan, American writer and voice of 1960s counterculture.
 
Published April 1, 2012 by Counterpoint. 864 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Self Help. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Jubilee Hitchhiker
All: 2 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 2

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by JOHN LELAND on May 25 2012

By the end Hjortsberg seems to be toying with us, withholding anything that might be revealing.

Read Full Review of Jubilee Hitchhiker: The Life ... | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Dwight Garner on May 22 2012

This jumbo-size biography is perhaps an odd tribute to a writer whose books were tiny...It’s total overkill.

Read Full Review of Jubilee Hitchhiker: The Life ... | See more reviews from NY Times

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