Garrets and Pretenders

Garrets and Pretenders: Bohemian Life in America from Poe to Kerouac
By Albery Parry with a new Introduction by Paul Buhle

Hailed as “thoroughly fascinating” and “an excellent account” by The New York Times, this chronicle recaptures the vibrantly eccentric lifestyles of generations of free-spirited Americans. Its evocative profiles range from Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, and Ambrose Bierce to lesser-known nonconformists and iconoclasts. Hoboes, starving poets, suffragettes, and artists’ models populate these pages, forming a bustling panoply of banquets, suicides, and ferocious literary rivalries.
Albert Parry’s classic survey created a sensation upon its initial publication in 1933. This new edition offers a 1948 reminiscence of the Greenwich Village scene and updates the narrative to the beatnik era of 1960. More than a collection of stories and anecdotes, this well-documented history unfolds with all the panache of a gripping novel. Scores of cartoons, drawings, and caricatures illustrate its memorable views of unconventional lives.


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