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JERZY coverJerzy Kosinski is a man of secrets. A man who is full of dreams, though sometimes he has a hard time expressing them to the world around him. To those who know him, he is an enigma. Deep inside, he knows what he wants, when he wants it. Despite the fact that so many obstacles cross his path every day, he is determined in making something of himself. He’ll do anything to achieve his every goal, no matter the cost.

A fictitious biographical tale about such an intriguing man, Jerome Charyn tells the story of Jerzy Kosinski through a myriad of perspectives. Each perspective throws us deeper into Jerzy’s life and the circumstances that surround his existence. This is a man who refused to sit on the sidelines while life passed him. He immersed himself in his hopes, his dreams, his desires, striving every day to overcome the uncertainties, the pain, and the heartache he experiences often.

We’re given glimpses into the secrets Jerzy kept throughout his entire life. Language barriers often frustrated him, but he didn’t let it deter him from climbing through the ranks. It was delightful to see him rub elbows with so many interesting characters. To also see him portrayed through the various perspectives used throughout the book allows us to envision the world he lives in, as well as who he truly is.

Jerzy never cared about the real truth that surrounded him and loved to keep people guessing. He’d do whatever he deemed necessary to get from point A to point B. Jerome shows us this with every turn of the page. Despite the fact that Jerzy was a ruthless, pathological liar who moved through the social circles that surrounded him, we also get to see his vulnerabilities. Mind you, this is a man who tried to hide those vulnerabilities whenever possible, often detesting the fact when his carefully constructed facade started to crumble. Nevertheless, he was able to make a name for himself, while always retaining a sense of mystery around him at all times.

Such a tumultuous story, Jerzy keeps the reader’s attention from start to finish. The author’s truly unique style of storytelling allows us to envision each character and the environments they find themselves. He truly does paint such vivid pictures! We can feel what the characters feel, and see what they see as they move forward throughout the lives they lead. I definitely recommend this book!




Jerzy Kosinski was a great enigma of post-WWII literature. When he exploded onto the American literary scene in 1965 with his best-selling novel The Painted Bird, he was revered as a Holocaust survivor and refugee from the world hidden behind the Soviet Iron Curtain. He won major literary awards, befriended actor Peter Sellers, who appeared in the screen adaptation of his novel Being There, and was a guest on talk shows and at the Oscars. But soon the facade began to crack, and behind the public persona emerged a ruthless social climber, sexual libertine, and pathological liar who may have plagiarized his greatest works.

Jerome Charyn lends his unmistakable style to this most American story of personal disintegration, told through the voices of multiple narrators—a homicidal actor, a dominatrix, and Joseph Stalin’s daughter—who each provide insights into the shifting facets of Kosinski’s personality. The story unfolds like a Russian nesting doll, eventually revealing the lost child beneath layers of trauma, while touching on the nature of authenticity, the atrocities of WWII, the allure of sadomasochism, and the fickleness of celebrity.




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Jerome crop NYPD jpgAbout The Author:

Jerome Charyn was born and raised on the mean streets of the Bronx. He graduated cum laude from Columbia College. He has taught at Princeton, Columbia, Stanford, Rice, was Distinguished Visiting Professor at the City University of New York and is currently Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the American University of Paris. Charyn is a Guggenheim Fellow and has twice won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. His stories and articles have appeared in The Atlantic, Paris Review, Esquire, American Scholar, New York Review of Books, New York Times, Ellery Queen and many other publications. Charyn’s most recent books are The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, I Am Abraham and Bitter Bronx: Thirteen Stories. His latest book is A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century.

Charyn writes:

I was born in the mean streets of the Bronx and have remained a city wolf, dividing my time between New York City and Paris. I grew up reading comic books and watching movies; you can see their influences in my books. I started writing novels at the age of eleven; Amazon carries 50+ titles, fiction and non-fiction.

I love Emily Dickinson’s poems and William Faulkner’s novels. I also love Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” which has the feel of a novel. (I wrote a book about Tarantino, “Raised by Wolves,” after the film’s release.)

My novel “The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson,” published in 2010, inspired a community of more than 8,000 Emily Dickinson Facebook fans dedicated to the private poet’s place in the 21st century.

Dickinson is also the subject of my next non-fiction book, “A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century” (March 2015, Bellevue Literary Press.)

I invite you to join me on Facebook for “The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson” or “Bitter Bronx: Thirteen Stories.” Or visit my website:

BREAKING NEWS: My eleven cult crime novels featuring New York detective Isaac Sidel have been re-released as eBooks by Open Road. Sidel is known as the “Jewish Philip Marlowe.” There’s an animated drama TV series in the works.

I am always happy to hear from my readers. Write me directly at






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