Passing By: Selected Essays, 1962–1991

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Open Road + Grove/Atlantic, Dec 1, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 274 pages
A collection of writings offers a revealing and provocative self-portrait of an author whose life was shrouded in enigma.
Jerzy Kosinski was one of the most important and original writers of his time. Passing By serves as his legacy. This collection of essays by the late author features pieces about polo and skiing, levitation, the streets of New York, present-day Poland, the Cannes film festival, celebrities, and more. The man who emerges here has a passion for sport, a quirky sense of fun, an idiosyncratic range of acquaintances stretching from Pope John Paul II to Warren Beatty, and an abiding love of secrets, conundrums, and fantasies. But first and foremost, as he demonstrates in major essays on his novels The Painted Bird and Steps, Kosinski is a powerful, incomparable literary artist.
“Kosinski’s vibrant, sexy, questioning voice is fully present.” —The Boston Globe

Selected pages


Aleksander and André
Time to Spare
On Books
Where an Author Can Be Himself
A Sense of Place
Combining Objective Data with Subjective Attitudes
Photography as

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About the author (2007)

Jerzy Kosinski was born in Lodz, Poland on June 8, 1933. In 1939, he was separated from his family when the Nazi's invaded Poland and he wandered through villages for six years, surviving by his wits. In shock, he remained mute from the age of nine to fourteen. He was finally reunited with his family. He moved to the United States in 1957. His first novel, The Painted Bird, was published in 1965 and received France's Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger. His second novel, Steps, won the National Book Award in 1969. His other novels included Being There, The Devil Tree, Cockpit, and Blind Date. Blind Date tells the story of the Manson killings, which is where he would have been if he had not been stuck in JFK Airport dealing with improperly tagged luggage. He committed suicide on May 3, 1991 at the age of 57.

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