Paul Gray

Jerzy Kosinski: 1933-1991

Writers ordinarily resent autobiographical speculations about their fiction; not Jerzy Kosinski. When The Painted Bird, his first and most famous novel, was published in 1965 he remarked, ”Every incident is true.” The assertion was implausible, given the book’s relentless violence and the odds against a 7- year-old boy surviving such ordeals. The suggestion that the horrors witnessed and committed in his novels came from personal experience gave him an aura of mystery and danger as he moved through Manhattan society.

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