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The Hilliker Curse: My Pursuit of Womenby James Ellroy
Saturday, September 13, 2014 04:00 PM
Powell's City of Books on Burnside, Portland, OR
From James Ellroy comes a pulse-pounding, as-it-happens narrative that unfolds in Los Angeles over 23 days beginning on December 6, 1941. The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor. The U.S. teeters on the edge of war. The roundup of allegedly treasonous Japanese Americans is about to begin. And in L.A., a Japanese family is found dead. Murder or ritual suicide? The investigation will draw four people into a totally Ellroyian tangle. As lives intertwine, we are given a story of war and of consuming romance, a searing exposé of the Japanese internment, and an astonishingly detailed homicide investigation. In Perfidia (Knopf), Ellroy, the "Demon Dog of American Crime Fiction," delves more deeply than ever before into his characters' intellectual and emotional lives.
Synopses & Reviews
From “one of the great American writers of our time” (Los Angeles Times Book Review): a raw, explicit memoir as high-intensity and riveting as any of his novels.
The year was 1958. James Ellroy was ten years old. His mother, Jean Hilliker, had divorced her fast-buck hustler husband. She gave her son a choice: live with his father or her. He chose his father, and Jean—“half gassed”—attacked him. He wished her dead. Three months later, she was murdered.
Ellroy writes, “I owe her for every true thing that I am. I must remove the malediction I have placed on her and on myself,” and in The Hilliker Curse, he narrates his quest for “atonement in women.” He unsparingly describes his shattered childhood, his delinquent teens, his writing life, his love affairs and marriages, a nervous breakdown and the beginning of a relationship with an extraordinary woman who may just be the long-sought Her. It is a layered narrative of time and place, emotion and insight, sexuality and spiritual quest. And all of it is reported with gut-wrenching and heart-rending candor.
A brilliant and soul-baring revelation of self—and unlike any memoir you have ever read.
From "one of the great American writers of our time" "(Los Angeles Times Book Review)" comes a raw, explicit memoir as high-intensity and riveting as any of Ellroy's novels. He unsparingly describes his shattered childhood, his delinquent teens, his writing life, his love affairs and marriages, and a nervous breakdown, in this brilliant, soul-baring revelation.
The legendary crime writer gives us a raw, brutally candid memoir—as high intensity and as riveting as any of his novels—about his obsessive search for “atonement in women.”
The year was 1958. Jean Hilliker had divorced her fast-buck hustler husband and resurrected her maiden name. Her son, James, was ten years old. He hated and lusted after his mother and “summoned her dead.” She was murdered three months later.
The Hilliker Curse is a predators confession, a treatise on guilt and on the power of malediction, and above all, a cri de cœur. James Ellroy unsparingly describes his shattered childhood, his delinquent teens, his writing life, his love affairs and marriages, his nervous breakdown, and the beginning of a relationship with an extraordinary woman who may just be the long-sought Her.
A layered narrative of time and place, emotion and insight, sexuality and spiritual quest, The Hilliker Curse is a brilliant, soul-baring revelation of self. It is unlike any memoir you have ever read.
About the Author
James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948. He is the author of the Underworld U.S.A. Trilogy—American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand, and Bloods A Rover—and the L. A. Quartet novels, The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L. A. Confidential, and White Jazz. American Tabloid was Time magazines Best Book (fiction) of 1995; his memoir My Dark Places was a Time Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Notable Book for 1996. The Cold Six Thousand was a New York Times Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2001. He lives in Los Angeles.
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