An Involuntary Genius in America's Shoes: And What Came Afterward

Andrei Codrescu, Author
Andrei Codrescu, Author Black Sparrow Press $32.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-57423-160-1
Reviewed on: 05/01/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001
Paperback - 356 pages - 978-1-57423-159-5
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An Involuntary Genius in America's Shoes (and What Happened Afterwards) usefully gathers together two of Andrei Codrescu's earlier memoirs, the 1975 Life & Times of an Involuntary Genius and the 1983 In America's Shoes, along with a new preface and afterword. The earlier memoir is much the best, telling with enormous verve the Algeresque story of how little Andrei Perlmutter, a bright kid growing up in the Stalinist backwater of 1950s Romania, manages to vault himself into the heart of '60s American counterculture as Andrei Codrescu, Transylvanian exotic and man of letters. The second volume is the work of one a little older and wiser, and is a more sober and digressive account. But together the books provide not only a self-portrait of the future poet, travel writer, NPR broadcaster and vampire novelist but a thumbnail history of recent American literary bohemia. (Sept.)
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