• The Man with the Golden Arm tells the story of Frankie Machine, the golden arm dealer at a back street Chicago gambling den. Frankie reckons he's a tough guy in the Chicago underworld but finds that he's not tough enough to kick his heroin addiction. With consummate skill and a finely-tuned ear for the authentic dialogue of the backstreets, Algren lays bare the tragedy and humour of Frankie's world. Features the first UK publication of a foreword by Kurt Vonnegut and an afterword by Studs Terkel.

  • Dove Findhorn is a nave country boy who busts out of Hicksville, Texas in pursuit of a better life in New Orleans. Amongst the downtrodden prostitutes, bootleggers and hustlers of the old French Quarter, Dove finds only hopelessness, crime and despair. His quest uncovers a harrowing grotesque of the American Dream. A Walk in the Wild Side is an angry, lonely, large-hearted and often funny masterpiece that has captured the imaginations of every generation since its first publication in 1956, and that rendered a world later immortalised in Lou Reed´s classic song.

  • The struggle to write with deep emotion is the subject of this extraordinary book, the previously unpublished credo of one of America's greatest 20th-century writers.
    "You don't write a novel out of sheer pity any more than you blow a safe out of a vague longing to be rich," writes Nelson Algren in his only longer work of nonfiction, adding: "A certain ruthlessness and a sense of alienation from society is as essential to creative writing as it is to armed robbery." Nonconformity is about 20th-century America: "Never on the earth of man has he lived so tidily as here amidst such psychological disorder." And it is about the trouble writers ask for when they try to describe America: "Our myths are so many, our vision so dim, our self-deception so deep and our smugness so gross that scarcely any way now remains of reporting the American Century except from behind the billboards . . . [where there] are still . . . defeats in which everything is lost [and] victories that fall close enough to the heart to afford living hope." In Nonconformity, Algren identifies the essential nature of the writer's relation to society, drawing examples from Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Twain, and Fitzgerald, as well as utility infielder Leo Durocher and legendary barkeep Martin Dooley. He shares his deepest beliefs about the state of literature and its role in society, along the way painting a chilling portrait of the early 1950s, Joe McCarthy's heyday, when many American writers were blackliste and ruined for saying similar things to what Algren is saying here.

  • Nelson Algren's two travel writing books describe his journeys through the seamier sides of great American cities and the international social and political landscapes of the mid-1960s. Algren at Sea brings them together in one volume.
    Notes from a Sea Diary offers one of the most remarkable appraisals of Ernest Hemingway ever written. Aboard the freighter Malayasia Mail, Algren ponders his personal encounter with Hemingway in Cuba and the values inherent in Hemingway's stories as he visits the ports of Pusan, Kowloon, Bombay, and Calcutta.
    Who Lost an American? is a whirlwind spin through Paris and Playboy clubs, New York publishing and Dublin pubs, Crete and Chicago, as Algren adventures with Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Brendan Behan, and Juliette Gréco.

  • A novel of rare genius, The Man with the Golden Arm describes the dissolution of a card-dealing WWII veteran named Frankie Machine, caught in the act of slowly cutting his own heart into wafer-thin slices. For Frankie, a murder committed may be the least of his problems.
    The literary critic Malcolm Cowley called The Man with the Golden Arm "Algren's defense of the individual," while Carl Sandburg wrote of its "strange midnight dignity." A literary tour de force, here is a novel unlike any other, one in which drug addiction, poverty, and human failure somehow suggest a defense of human dignity and a reason for hope.

  • L'oeuvre de Nelson Algren (1909-1981) - Le Désert de néon, L'Homme au bras d'or, Chicago: City On The Make, A Walk on the Wild Side - se situe dans la tradition américaine du réalisme et du déterminisme social. La vie des marginaux et du sous-prolétariat urbain en est son thème principal. Écrivain engagé, il dénonce en tableaux saisissants et vigoureux la misère, la violence, la corruption, l'indifférence qui conditionnent dès l'enfance l'existence des rejetés. Hauts en couleur ou pitoyables, ses personnages se détachent tragiquement sur un fond d'humour grinçant destiné à provoquer la réflexion sociale et politique. Avant de rencontrer Simone de Beauvoir, avec qui il vivra pendant une quinzaine d'années une relation amoureuse passionnée, il écrit plusieurs nouvelles noires semi-autobiographiques. L'une d'elles, He swung and he missed (Du miel pour Rocco), est un récit réaliste et brutal sur le milieu de la boxe. Elle raconte l'histoire de Rocco, boxeur raté mais honnête et orgueilleux. Sur le déclin, au seuil du dernier combat de sa carrière, on le paye pour qu'il se couche devant son adversaire. Pour la seule fois de sa vie, il accepte, car il est éperdument amoureux de sa femme à qui il veut enfin offrir une vie confortable. Il perd le combat, puis apprend que sa femme a misé innocemment tout l'argent sur sa victoire. Cette nouvelle inspirera en partie le célèbre film de Robert Wise, Nous avons gagné ce soir.

  • A novel of rare genius, The Man with the Golden Arm describes the dissolution of a card-dealing WWII veteran named Frankie Machine, caught in the act of slowly cutting his own heart into wafer-thin slices. For Frankie, a murder committed may be the least of his problems.
    The literary critic Malcolm Cowley called The Man with the Golden Arm "Algren's defense of the individual," while Carl Sandburg wrote of its "strange midnight dignity." A literary tour de force, here is a novel unlike any other, one in which drug addiction, poverty, and human failure somehow suggest a defense of human dignity and a reason for hope.

  • Nelson Algren sought humanity in the urban wilderness of postwar America, where his powerful voice rose from behind the billboards and down tin-can alleys, from among the marginalized and ignored, the outcasts and scapegoats, the punks and junkies, the whores and down-on-their luck gamblers, the punch-drunk boxers and skid-row drunkies and kids who knew they'd never reach the age of twenty-one: all of them admirable in Algren's eyes for their vitality and no-bullshit forthrightness, their insistence on living and their ability to find a laugh and a dream in the unlikeliest places.
    In Entrapment and Other Writings--containing his unfinished novel and previously unpublished or uncollected stories, poems, and essays--Algren speaks to our time as few of his fellow great American writers of the 1940s and '50s do, in part because he hasn't yet been accepted and assimilated into the American literary canon despite that he is held up as a talismanic figure. "You should not read [Algren] if you can't take a punch," Ernest Hemingway declared. "Mr. Algren can hit with both hands and move around and he will kill you if you are not awfully careful."

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