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The Past | The Previous

Hubert Selby Jr.

according to the blog_of_death (a fascinating thing to add to your livejournal friends list, btw), author hubert selby jr died on April the 26th.

"Hubert Selby Jr., an acclaimed author and educator, died on April 26 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 75.

The New York City native was still a teenager when he joined the Merchant Marines. He was diagnosed with lung disease at 18, and spent a decade in and out of hospitals before doctors sent him home to die. Instead of giving in to this decree, however, Selby decided to write.

For six years, he chronicled life in his Brooklyn neighborhood into a novel that was published in 1964. "Last Exit to Brooklyn" received rave reviews and blistering critiques, was the subject of an obscenity trial in Britain and eventually inspired a cult following. It became the basis of a movie by the same name in 1989, which featured a cameo of the author.

Heroin addiction was the main focus of Selby's 1978 book, "Requiem for a Dream," which was adapted to the screen in 2000 by director Darren Aronofsky. Although Selby spent years battling addictions, he was always sober when he wrote. Over the course of his four-decade career, Selby published "The Room" (1971), "The Demon" (1976), "Song of the Silent Snow" (1986), "The Willow Tree" (1998) and "Waiting Period" (2002). He also released two spoken word albums: "Blue Eyes and Exit Wounds" (with Nick Tosches) and "Live in Europe 1989" (with Henry Rollins).

For the past two decades, Selby taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California and worked on screenplays. Most days, he would write for five hours in a West Hollywood apartment, always leaving the last line unfinished so he'd have a place to start the following morning. Selby was writing an autobiographical novel, tentatively titled, "Seeds of Pain, Seeds of Love," when he died."

go here for links to his work.

i've never read a lot of selby (though i believe i will be picking more up, now), but what i read showed the work of unique and literate voice.