OUSD > Urban Dreams > Language Arts > Extended Literature > Grade 12 > Kosinski


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Many writers have portrayed the cruelty people inflict upon each other in the name of war or ideology or garden-variety hate, but few books will surpass Kosinski's first novel, The Painted Bird, for the sheer creepiness in its savagery. The story follows an abandoned young boy who wanders alone through the frozen bogs and broken towns of Eastern Europe during and after World War II, trying to survive. His experiences and actions occur at and beyond the limits of what might be called humanity, but Kosinski never averts his eyes, nor allows us to.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D080213422X/ (Amazon.com)

Websites about The Painted Bird:

Author Biography:

Jerzy Kosinski (1933-1991)

  • 1933 BORN Lodz, Poland, on June 14
  • in hiding with his parents during WWII
  • received degrees in history and social sciences from the University of Lodz, 1953-55
  • immigrated to the United States in 1957
  • left graduate studies to pursue a literary career; published two books in the 1960s under the pseudonym Joseph Novak
  • the "Painted Bird" published in 1965 established Kosinski’s reputation as a brilliant and challenging author
  • "Steps" awarded the National Book Award in 1969
  • "Being There" published in 1971; Kosinski also wrote the screenplay for the 1979 film, which won a BAFTA award for best screenplay
  • returned to Poland a literary hero in 1988; works begin to appear in Polish for the first time
  • Kosinski died May 3, 1991, in New York City

http://www.spertus.edu/asher/exhibits.html (Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies)

Websites about Jerzy Kosinski:

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