Oral Pleasure by Jerzy Kosinski
Kosinski as Storyteller

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Synopsis

Oral Pleasure: Kosinski as Storyteller is a collection of interviews, lectures, and transcriptions of media appearances from the legendary literary figure, Jerzy Kosinski. Compiled by his late widow, Kiki, most of the pieces here are published for the first time.

These texts bring sharper focus to the themes in his works, making this strikingly erratic individual more accessible. They provide an uncensored portrait of the writer plagued by scandal, whose authenticity was challenged by fierce accusations of plagiarism regarding his seminal novel, The Painted Bird—suspicion that shadowed his career. Oral Pleasure reveals Kosinski as a truly genuine, gifted man of letters.

The material covers different aspects of Kosinski’s eventful life, from his thoughts on Poland and the Holocaust to his experiences with acting and television. He expounds on the difficulties of writing under a totalitarian government and the importance of freedom of speech. He discusses the fine line between fiction and autobiography, the prominent role sex played in his writing and life, the philosophical importance of violence in his novels, and his controversial statements on Jewish identity.

This collection offers new insight into Kosinski’s renowned work, portraying a brilliant storyteller behind the public figure.
 

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 4, 2012 by Grove Press. 433 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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In a 1973 letter to his publisher, he mentions how “the imagination creates molds into which experience can fit.” He also wrote that a writer’s function is to be a “detonator” and that language is “the translation of man’s original weapons.” Unsurprisingly, there is some repetition.

Nov 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Oral Pleasure: Kosinski as St...

Publishers Weekly

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Having once vowed never to speak in public, award-winning novelist and screenwriter Kosinski (The Painted Bird) certainly broke that promise—and the interviews, lectures, and essays compiled by his la

Oct 29 2012 | Read Full Review of Oral Pleasure: Kosinski as St...

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