Media Center: 'Farther and Wilder' by Blake Bailey

Media Center: 'Farther and Wilder' by Blake Bailey

Author photoWHO: Blake Bailey

The Lost Weekends and Literary Dreams of Charles Jackson

WHEN: Published by Knopf March 21, 2013

WHERE: The author lives in Virginia

WHY: “An eloquent, poignant portrait of the artist as outsider and misfit.
“Author of acclaimed biographies of John Cheever and Richard Yates, Bailey makes a rather surprising case for the resurrection of this deeply prescient and problematic novelist, who broke open taboos about alcoholics and homosexuals well before it was cool and championed F. Scott Fitzgerald when he was in the process of being remaindered.
“Charles Jackson (1903–1968) was the author of an unlikely best-seller, The Lost Weekend, which was rendered into a tremendous film noir by Billy Wilder the next year. He rode moments of spectacular success in his early life and many more troughs of despair and drug addiction later on. Bailey traces his early upbringing in the idyllic village of Newark, in upstate New York, an iconic Arcadia in his fiction, where he nonetheless suffered the early traumas of his older sister and brother’s deaths in a car accident, abandonment by his father and molestation at the hands of a visiting organist at his church.
“Bailey gets at the compulsive element to Jackson’s personality and his decorous exterior as a ‘respectable burgher,’ disguising his proclivity for excessive drink and gay sex. Yet he was always a man of high Shakespearean ideals and deep feeling who was vilified and embraced in turn. Bailey urges a revisiting of the work of this fascinating novelist of keen psychological depth.”
—KIRKUS, in a starred review

“A rich, probing biography.
Bailey offers clear-eyed, tart-tongued interpretations of Jackson’s uneven oeuvre, setting them in thorough, well-paced, entertaining narrative that features movie stars and intellectuals, evocative scenes of mid-20th-century Jacket photoliterary life, and relationships that unfold with novelistic complexity. The result is another portrait of a conflicted writer whose genius emerges in dubious battle with his demons.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Suavely written, magnetically readable.” —Ray Olson, BOOKLIST

Charles Jackson’s The Lost Weekend and The Sunnier Side and Other Stories are available in Vintage paperback.

Media Resources:
About the book | Author bio | Download the jacket or the author photo

Publicist for this title:
Kathy Zuckerman | 212-572-2105 |