- 85,00 kr
“Brautigan’s life unfolds as a tragicomedy, and the book vividly evokes the heady 1960s and 1970s, especially in the Bay Area.” —The San Francisco Chronicle
Confident and robust, Jubilee Hitchhiker is an comprehensive biography of late novelist and poet Richard Brautigan, author of Trout Fishing in America and A Confederate General from Big Sur, among many others. When Brautigan took his own life in September of 1984, his close friends and network of artists and writers were devastated though not entirely surprised. To many, Brautigan was shrouded in enigma, erratic and unpredictable in his habits and presentation. But his career was formidable, an inspiration to young writers like Hjortsberg trying to get their start.
As Hjortsberg guides us through his search to uncover Brautigan as a man, the reader is pulled deeply into the writer’s world. Ultimately this is a work that seeks to connect the Brautigan known to his fans with the man who ended his life so abruptly in 1984, while revealing the close ties between his writing and the actual events of his life. Part history, part biography, and part memoir, this etches the portrait of a man destroyed by his genius.
“It’s Hjortsberg’s ability to work like a novelist—to shape his mountain of material, the enormous chaos of Brautigan’s life, into a narrative—that makes Jubilee Hitchhiker most remarkable.” —Harper’s Magazine
“One of the merits of Jubilee Hitchhiker is that it not only tracks Brautigan’s life but also deftly flips open any number of worlds, from the Beat and counterculture scenes in San Francisco to gonzo times in Montana.” —The New York Times
Bookended by harrowing accounts of poet and author Richard Brautigan's 1984 suicide, Hjortsberg's meticulously detailed biography of the writer is a study in excess, both in terms of Brautigan's life and Hjortsberg's page count. Described by one friend as "a painfully shy young man who tried everything in the world to cover up his shyness with a veneer of cool reserve," the man behind Trout Fishing in America struggled with an inferiority complex that gave way to haughtiness as his star rose, accompanied in equal measure by juvenile behavior that often resulted in shattered furniture, limbs, and friendships. Brautigan begged to be arrested as a teenager and was granted his wish as well as a stint in a mental health facility where he underwent shock therapy. But Hjortsberg (Alp) doesn't dwell so much on Brautigan's mental state as on the minutiae of the author's life the number of fish caught on a given expedition, the airlines he flew, and dinner tabs are covered in detail, making the book feel as if it was written by an accountant rather than a novelist. Hjortsberg, who was a neighbor of Brautigan's in Montana and spent 20 years compiling the book, offers glimmers of insight into the author, but they're buried beneath acres of plodding procedural prose. Readers with an abiding interest in Brautigan will find this a thorough portrait of the man, but those new to his work will likely pack up and head home long before the journey's end. Photos.