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The Hipsters

The Hipsters

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Fiction, 4.5” x 7”, paperback, May 2021, ISBN 9781953862006

“Thoughtfully edited . . . these pieces show Southern honing his technique and mastering the rules he would later scramble.”

Publishers Weekly

“A most welcome collection for longtime Southern fans and neophytes alike.”

Kirkus Reviews [starred review]

“As soon as I dipped my eyes into the book I was enchanted and instantly wrapped up inside its lovely walls. For anybody familiar with Terry’s writing, this is the perfect interlude. I love every page of it.”

—Victor Bockris

The Hipsters is a brilliant and important book. Just like his dad, Terry, Nile Southern has edited the writings and the history of a really important author and yet-to-be-documented period in our culture which is finally being addressed. Terry Southern’s combination of street smarts and elegance make his satirical gems classic literature. Like Jonathan Swift, he shows us who we are and how we got that way—and makes us want to read more. And his son, Nile, captures it all with grace and humor. This is a book you will want to carry with you everywhere you go!”

—David Amram, composer/conducter/multi-instrumentalist

This anthology of never-before-published and uncollected work charts the creative evolution of Terry Southern—from Quality-lit craftsman to visionary provocateur—through journal entries, short stories, an abandoned novel borne of his postwar Paris experience, a declaration of cinema’s triumph over the page, tastes of screenplays (including the first adaptation of A Clockwork Orange and a sequel to Easy Rider), and a eulogy penned for Charlie Parker that reflects the author's own “mercilessly schizoid, uncompromising integrity.” Bursting from the pen of one of the most original American writers of the twentieth century, these previously unseen gems reveal a searching, fertile mind as he rewires the boundaries of storytelling.

Terry Southern (1924–1995) was born in Alvarado, Texas, and grew up in Dallas. In 1937, on a middle-school class trip to the Dallas Public Library, his encounter with Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym” ignited Southern’s passion for developing a fine prose style with “the capacity to astonish.” He attended Northwestern’s Great Books program, receiving a BA in 1948. He was enrolled at the Sorbonne on the GI Bill from 1948 to 1951, garnering certificates in medieval literature, modern French literature, and contemporary (European) philosophy. His stories were first published in Paris literary magazines, including in The Paris Review’s first issue. After living in New York’s Greenwich Village in the early 1950s, he married Carol Kauffman in 1956 and moved with her to Geneva, where he wrote Flash and Filigree and The Magic Christian (both published first in England) and, with Mason Hoffenberg, the sex satire Candy, which was first published in France and subsequently banned there. Southern is also the author of novels Blue Movie (1970) and Texas Summer (1992). In 1961, his first-person story “Twirling at Ole Miss” appeared in Esquire, launching what Tom Wolfe later described as “a new kind of journalism.” Another short story, “The Road Out of Axotle,” won the O. Henry Prize of 1963. Southern’s film career began when he was hired by Stanley Kubrick to help transform Dr. Strangelove from arch melodrama into the nightmare comedy which the director envisioned. In 1964, Candy became a runaway bestseller in America, and Dr. Strangelove’s great success led to Southern working on many significant films of the 1960s, including The Loved One, The Collector, The Cincinnati Kid, Barbarella, The Magic Christian, Easy Rider, and End of the Road. Southern lived with his longtime companion Gail Gerber for twenty-five years in a remote farmhouse in East Canaan, Connecticut. He is remembered as a unique figure in literature, journalism, and film whose satirical voice prompted Gore Vidal to declare him “the most profoundly witty writer of his generation.”

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