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Little Boy: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Description


From the famed publisher and poet, author of the million-copy-selling collection A Coney Island of the Mind, his literary last will and testament -- part autobiography, part summing up, part Beat-inflected torrent of language and feeling, and all magical.

In this unapologetically unclassifiable work Lawrence Ferlinghetti lets loose an exhilarating rush of language to craft what might be termed a closing statement about his highly significant and productive 99 years on this planet. The "Little Boy" of the title is Ferlinghetti himself as a child, shuffled from his overburdened mother to his French aunt to foster childhood with a rich Bronxville family. Service in World War Two (including the D-Day landing), graduate work, and a scholar gypsy's vagabond life in Paris followed. These biographical reminiscences are interweaved with Allen Ginsberg-esque high energy bursts of raw emotion, rumination, reflection, reminiscence and prognostication on what we may face as a species on Planet Earth in the future. Little Boy is a magical font of literary lore with allusions galore, a final repository of hard-earned and durable wisdom, a compositional high wire act without a net (or all that much punctuation) and just a gas and an inspiration to read.

About the Author


LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI was born in Yonkers, New York in 1919. Founder of the famed City Lights Booksellers and Publishers, he is an activist, painter, and author of numerous works of poetry, prose, and drama. His A Coney Island of the Mind is one of the bestselling poetry books of all time. Among his many honors are the Los Angeles Times' Robert Kirsch Award, the NBCC's Ivan Sandrof Award, and the ACLU's Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award. He is also a Commander of the French Order of Arts and Letters. He lives in San Francisco, close by to the bookstore he founded.

Praise For…


"A torrent of textual splendor. . . Everything Ferlinghetti has read, written, lived, experienced, thought and understood in his near-hundred-years on this planet has been tossed into the blender of his consciousness. Little Boy gives us the opportunity to watch as it all swirls in that blender, the blades slowly bringing all these disparate particles together into a more homogenous flow — everything connected, everything consequential, yet without direct plot or meaning (much like life itself). . .If Little Boy is just a dream, then it’s one you can easily get lost in. . .wandering one last time through the Coney Islands of an iconic poet’s mind."
The Los Angeles Times

"As a poet, [Ferlinghetti] has rarely been a critical favorite. But his flexible and plain-spoken and often lusty work — he has published more than 50 volumes — has found a wide audience. . .[Little Boy] is a summing-up near the end of a big, wide, productive life."
—Dwight Garner, The New York Times 

"Little Boy may start off sounding like a conventional memoir, but before long, Ferlinghetti reclaims his beat soul, quickens the pace, dropping punctuation like a used-up booster rocket, and off we go on the last wild, motor-mouth, book-length riff of this poet’s generation. All finger-popping readers will be gleefully swept up in this hip word-flood, this spontaneous stream — no, make that torrent of consciousness. Bravo, maestro!”
—Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate and author of The Rain in Portugal: Poems 

“A spiraling stream of consciousness that celebrates the divine transcendence of poetry and an all too human coming-of-agelessness. His mentoring example and love of the written word is illuminating and inspirational.”
—Lenny Kaye, lead guitarist of the Patti Smith Group

“Ferlinghetti has given us a uniquely revelatory book. At first his narrative was what I'd hoped it would be, and then his words turned, like lively flashing fish, into what he wanted it to be, so he could leisurely reel me in, ever so surely, to his sublime conclusion. Little Boy evoked my surprise and delight — thank you, Lawrence!
—Ann Charters, author of the American Book Award-winning Women of the Beat Generation

 
"A Goethean poly-directional consciousness on an exciting journey through time and space, Ferlinghetti’s unclassifiable act is delightful, tragic, magical. Here is seriousness at play with all the power of a spontaneous concert. Bravo Maestro Lawrence!"
—Michael McClure, author of The Beard 

“One hundred years of Lawrence’s life dance and shimmer in breathtaking sentences that shine with the light of this great writer’s gorgeous imagination. Little Boy is a treasure.”
—Diane di Prima, author of Memoirs of a Beatnik

“Wonderfully effusive. . .stunningly evocative. . .This book is a Proustian celebration of both memory and moments that will delight readers.”
Publishers Weekly 


Coverage from NPR



Product Details
ISBN: 9780385544788
ISBN-10: 0385544782
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: March 19th, 2019
Pages: 192
Language: English