Available for the first time in English, Hlasko's explosive memoir will marvel Western readers; it is a portrait of a literary renegade who ran afoul of the Polish authorities in 1958 when he traveled to Paris and published an anticommunist novel in the emigre journal "Kultura." Stripped of his Polish citizenship, he became an itinerant traveler from that point on, living the life of a vagabond in various places including Israel, the United States, and Germany, where he was mysteriously found dead in 1969 at the age of 35.
Told in a voice suffused with grit and black humor, Hlasko's memoir is a classic of its time. He describes his relationships with such giants of Polish culture as filmmaker Roman Polanski, novelist Jerzy Andrzejewski, poet Wladyslaw Broniewski, and essayist Kazimierz Brandys. Hlasko also worked as a screenwriter, and his memoir provides a valuable glimpse into how markedly the medium of film affected him from his earliest writing days. He made his literary debut in 1956 and immediately became a poster boy for Polish literature.
"Beautiful Twentysomethings" is the work of an amazing talent, a writer whose books could be likened to that of Beat writers Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs. Hlasko lived on the edge, died young, and left behind a razor-sharp body of work that has become an inspiration to those of a whole new generation of readers.
Northern Illinois University Press