The Painted Bird - Jerzy Kosinski
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The Painted Bird

Updated: 7 Sep 2020
The classic novel of a boy’s struggle for survival in WWII Poland, from the National Book Award–winning author of Steps and Being There. “In 1939, a six-year-old boy is sent by his anti-Nazi parents to a remote village in Poland where they believe he will be safe. Things happen, however, and the boy is left to roam the Polish countryside. . . . To the blond, blue-eyed peasants in this part of the country, the swarthy, dark-eyed boy who speaks the dialect of the educated class is either Jew, gypsy, vampire, or devil. They fear him and they fear what the Germans will do to them if he is found among them. So he must keep moving. In doing so, over a period of years, he observes every conceivable variation on the theme of horror” (Kirkus Reviews). Originally published in 1965, The Painted Bird established Jerzy Kosinski as a major literary figure. With sparse prose and vivid imagery, it is a story of mythic proportion and timeless human relevance. “One of the best . . . Written with deep sincerity and sensitivity.” —Elie Wiesel, The New York Times Book Review “Of all the remarkable fiction that emerged from World Wat II, nothing stands higher than Jerzy Kosinski’s The Painted Bird. A magnificent work of art, and a celebration of the individual will. No one who reads it will forget it; no one who reads it will be unmoved by it. The Painted Bird enriches our literature and our lives.” —Jonathan Yardley, The Miami Herald “Extraordinary . . . Literally staggering . . . One of the most powerful books I have ever read.” —Richard Kluger, Harper’s Magazine “One of our most significant writers.” —Newsweek
Writer
7 followers
106 FLIISTs
almost 3 years ago
Who is your favorite overlooked or underappreciated writer? Let’s assume that I’ve overlooked most of the good ones myself, but I’m a fan of “Mrs. Bridge” and “Mr. Bridge,” by the late Evan S. Connell. It was Connell, and also Jerzy Kosinski (“Steps,” “The Painted Bird”) who first made me aware of the power of short, very concise and witty chapters.
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Writer
7 followers
106 FLIISTs
almost 3 years ago
It's the style that I've adopted. It began with a book called Midnight Club. I started thinking of books with very short, effective chapters like Mr. Bridge and Mrs. Bridge by Evan Connell Jr. and The Painted Bird and Steps by Jerzy Kosinski. That's what I do.
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