Jerzy Kosinski (1933-1991) was an American author. His works include: The Painted Bird (1965), Steps (1968), Being There (1971), Cockpit (1975), The Hermit of Sixty-Ninth Street (1988).
Life and Works
He was born June 14, 1933, in Łódź, Poland, as a child beggar. A Jew, he wandered around Poland and Russia during World War Two, and faked Catholicism without his parents, which led to his not learning to speak until 1947, though he was able to receive degrees in political science and history and migrate to the United States. He attend Columbia University in the 1960s and lectured at several universities.
His first notable novel, The Painted Bird (1965), described a child wandering around a warped Poland of cruel peasants, and was hailed as Holocaust literature by Arthur Miller and Elie Wiesel. He continued to study politics on Steps and Being There, and wrote four more novels before his works were attacked as fiction, and he insisted it should be ambiguous as to whether the events of The Painted Bird were truly his early life.
- The New York Public Library Student's Desk Reference. Prentice Hall, New York: 1991.
- "Kosinski, Jerzy." Encyclopedia Britannica Online.