Ferlinghetti at 100/ Book Release Party for LITTLE BOY
Thursday, March 21, 2019, 7:00 p.m., City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
photo by Chris Felver
City Lights celebrates the release of Lawrence Ferlinghetti's new novel
published by Doubleday Books
Opening Statement by Peter Maravelis/City Lights with readings by Maxine Hong Kingston, Michael Krasny, Armistead Maupin, Joyce Carol Oates, Julien Poirier, Andrew Sean Greer, and Shobha Rao.
From the famed publisher and poet, author of the million-copy-selling collection A Coney Island of the Mind, his literary last will and testament — part autobiography, part summing up, part Beat-inflected torrent of language and feeling, and all magical.
In this unapologetically unclassifiable work Lawrence Ferlinghetti lets loose an exhilarating rush of language to craft what might be termed a closing statement about his highly significant and productive 99 years on this planet. The "Little Boy" of the title is Ferlinghetti himself as a child, shuffled from his overburdened mother to his French aunt to foster childhood with a rich Bronxville family. Service in World War Two (including the D-Day landing), graduate work, and a scholar gypsy's vagabond life in Paris followed. These biographical reminiscences are interweaved with Allen Ginsberg-esque high energy bursts of raw emotion, rumination, reflection, reminiscence and prognostication on what we may face as a species on Planet Earth in the future. Little Boy is a magical font of literary lore with allusions galore, a final repository of hard-earned and durable wisdom, a compositional high wire act without a net (or all that much punctuation) and just a gas and an inspiration to read.
Books related to this event:
Lawrence Ferlinghetti offers the ultimate parting gift to us, the legions of readers who love him. His tale is bittersweet, melancholy, romantic, existential, inquisitive, nostalgic, and funny, and unsparing in his expression of hope for a better world. -- Recommended by Stacey and Paul