These mad immortal stories, now surfaced from the literary underground, have addicted legions of American readers, even though the high literary establishment continues to ignore them. In Europe, however (particularly in Germany, Italy, and France where he is published by the great publishing houses), he is critically recognized as one of America's greatest living realist writers.
Charles Bukowski was born in Andernach, Germany in 1920 and brought to America at the age of two. Eighteen or twenty books of prose and poetry, Bukowski, after publishing prose in Story and Portfolio, stopped writing for ten years. He arrived in the charity ward of the Los Angeles County General Hospital, hemorrhaging as a climax to a ten year drinking bout. Some say he didn't die. After leaving the hospital he got a typewriter and began writing again—this time, poetry. He later returned to prose and gained some fame with his column, Notes of a Dirty Old Man. After 14 years in the Post Office he resigned at age 50, he says, to keep from going insane. He now claims to be unemployable and eats typewriter ribbons.