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Misfit: The Strange Life of Frederick Exley

Misfit: The Strange Life of Frederick Exley

Jonathan Yardley
3.6/5 (118 ratings)
Frederick Exley was at once unique and prototypical. He inhabited his own bizarre universe and obeyed no rules except his own, yet he was a familiar and characteristic American literary type: an author whose reputation rests on a single book. His life, which he described, and disguised, and distorted in all three of his books, rivaled his "fiction." Everything he did involved a struggle, and the most important struggle of his life was his writing; out of that strife came A Fan's Notes, which Jonathan Yardley believes is one of the best books of our time. Exley was an alcoholic who drank in copious amounts, yet he always sobered up when he was ready to write. In his younger days he did time in a couple of mental institutions, which imposed involuntary discipline on him and helped him start to write. He was personally and financially irresponsible - he had no credit cards, no permanent address, and ambiguous relationships with everyone he knew - yet people loved him and took care of him. No matter where he was, in the dark of night he phoned friends and subjected them to interminable monologues. To many, these were a nuisance and an imposition, but later, in the light of day, they were remembered with affection and gratitude. In Misfit, the Pulitzer Prize-winning book critic of The Washington Post portrays in full one of the most tormented, distinctive, and talented writers of the post-war years. Exley's story, which in Yardley's telling reads as if it were a novel, reveals a singular personality: raunchy, vulgar, self-centered, and even infantile, yet also loyal, self-deprecating, and unfailingly humorous.' to 's Lockridge, and even Ralph Ellison--is profiled by the Pulitzer Prize-winning book critic of "The Washington Post". Exley was an alcoholic who quit drinking when he wrote, and a man who spent time in a mental hospital. He was indeed a misfit, but one who left an indelible impression on those who knew him or read his works.
Language
English
Pages
255
Format
Hardcover
Publisher
Random House (NY)
Release
August 05, 1997
ISBN
0679439498
ISBN 13
9780679439493

Misfit: The Strange Life of Frederick Exley

Jonathan Yardley
3.6/5 (118 ratings)
Frederick Exley was at once unique and prototypical. He inhabited his own bizarre universe and obeyed no rules except his own, yet he was a familiar and characteristic American literary type: an author whose reputation rests on a single book. His life, which he described, and disguised, and distorted in all three of his books, rivaled his "fiction." Everything he did involved a struggle, and the most important struggle of his life was his writing; out of that strife came A Fan's Notes, which Jonathan Yardley believes is one of the best books of our time. Exley was an alcoholic who drank in copious amounts, yet he always sobered up when he was ready to write. In his younger days he did time in a couple of mental institutions, which imposed involuntary discipline on him and helped him start to write. He was personally and financially irresponsible - he had no credit cards, no permanent address, and ambiguous relationships with everyone he knew - yet people loved him and took care of him. No matter where he was, in the dark of night he phoned friends and subjected them to interminable monologues. To many, these were a nuisance and an imposition, but later, in the light of day, they were remembered with affection and gratitude. In Misfit, the Pulitzer Prize-winning book critic of The Washington Post portrays in full one of the most tormented, distinctive, and talented writers of the post-war years. Exley's story, which in Yardley's telling reads as if it were a novel, reveals a singular personality: raunchy, vulgar, self-centered, and even infantile, yet also loyal, self-deprecating, and unfailingly humorous.' to 's Lockridge, and even Ralph Ellison--is profiled by the Pulitzer Prize-winning book critic of "The Washington Post". Exley was an alcoholic who quit drinking when he wrote, and a man who spent time in a mental hospital. He was indeed a misfit, but one who left an indelible impression on those who knew him or read his works.
Language
English
Pages
255
Format
Hardcover
Publisher
Random House (NY)
Release
August 05, 1997
ISBN
0679439498
ISBN 13
9780679439493

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