“Wordsworth, Whitman, William Carlos Williams, and the Beats in their respective generations moved poetry toward a more natural language. Bukowski moved it a little farther.” –Los Angeles Times Book Review
In what is widely hailed as the best of his many novels, Charles Bukowski details the long, lonely years of his own hardscrabble youth in the raw voice of alter ego Henry Chinaski. From a harrowingly cheerless childhood in Germany through acne-riddled high school years and his adolescent discoveries of alcohol, woman, and the Los Angeles Public Library's collection of D.H. Lawrence, Ham on Rye offers a crude, brutal, and savagely funny portrait of an outcast's coming-of-age during the desperate days of the Great Depression.
Charles Bukowski is one of America’s best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose and, many would claim, its most influential and imitated poet. He was born in 1920 in Andernach, Germany, to an American soldier father and a German mother, and brought to the United States at the age of two. He was raised in Los Angeles and lived there for over fifty years. He died in San Pedro, California, on March 9, 1994, at the age of seventy-three, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp.
Abel Debritto, a former Fulbright scholar and current Marie Curie fellow, works in the digital humanities. He is the author of Charles Bukowski, King of the Underground, and the editor of the Bukowski collections On Writing, On Cats, and On Love.
“There is real poignancy in the people encountered in Bukowski’s work.” — New York Times Book Review
“The poet laureate of sour alleys and dark bars, of racetracks and long shots.” — Washington Post
“A prolific poet . . . a popular, accessible, and yes, great artist.” — Washington Post Book World
“The Walt Whitman of Los Angeles.” — Joyce Carol Oates
“He brought everybody down to earth, even the angels.” — Leonard Cohen