ACCLAIMED ARTIST: Duncan Hannah’s paintings can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the Minneapolis Art Institute; the Minnesota Museum of Art; Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND; and the 21C Museum, Louisville, KY.
FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT: Hannah’s story of his experiences as a young man trying to forge an identity for himself as an artist is a time capsule from a sometimes scary, sometimes seedy, but utterly irresistible time and place. Twentieth-Century Boy is drawn from Hannah’s journals from these years, giving it an immediacy that vividly brings 1970s New York City to life.
PRAISE: The book has received great coverage, and we have blurbs from John Berendt (“hugely entertaining”) and Thurston Moore, cofounder of Sonic Youth (“like the Dead Sea Scrolls of a mythological Lower Manhattan underground”). Kirkus Reviews calls it “an intensely personal and engrossing portrait of a bygone era.”
CELEBRITY CAMEOS: The book is a veritable who’s who of midcentury American artists and musicians, among them Patti Smith, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Andy Warhol, Danny Fields, David Hockney, David Byrne, and Debbie Harry.
FOR FANS OF: Readers of Patti Smith’s Just Kids and M Train, Kim Gordon’s Girl in a Band, James Wolcott’s Lucking Out, Legs McNeil’s Please Kill Me, Jeremiah Moss’s Vanishing New York, Sherill Tippins’s Inside the Dream Palace, and The Andy Warhol Diaries will be entranced by Hannah’s vivid depictions of 1970s New York and its vibrant artistic community.
“A phantasmagoria of alcohol, sex, art, conversation, glam rock, and New Wave cinema. Hannah’s writing combines self-aware humor with an intoxicating punk energy.” —The New Yorker
“A farewell to an entire era of decadence. . . . An unusually levelheaded portrait of New York in the seventies.” —The Paris Review
“Filled with gritty, evocative memories.” —Vice
“A gallery of the louche, the lurid, and the illuminating.” —Vanity Fair
“These diaries . . . are like the Dead Sea Scrolls of a mythological Lower Manhattan underground. As the writing progresses . . . we glean Duncan’s romance and eventual providence: to be cool is not the idea, being an artist in love with the universe is.” —Thurston Moore, co-founder of Sonic Youth
“In which a teenage Minnesota boy is drawn into the swirl of downtown New York in the 70s — yeah, lots of sex, drugs, rock n roll and art! Hannah’s personal documents become an accumulation of detailed cultural insights as he too becomes an accomplished artist. Complete with ‘guest appearances’ by just about everyone who defined the explosive scene of this period.” —Jim Jarmusch
“Twentieth-Century Boy provide[s] a rich, endlessly diverting answer to the question ‘What do men want?’ These journals—full of hunger, curiosity, and wonder—are raw, graceful time capsules. Art, sex, ambition, drugs, music, alcohol, movies, excesses, and extremes are all there, but Hannah observes the world around him with rare, and loving, attention.” —Joan Juliet Buck
“Hannah documents that impetuous, drugged-up scene with flushed revelry and latent apprehension. These journals, simultaneously breathtaking and detached, are riveting cautionary tales, demonstrating the necessity of raw experimentation as a source of discovery and creativity.” —Bookforum
“Eloquent and funny, written by a teen wise beyond his years. Duncan Hannah’s journals bring back the adolescence that most of us wish we had.” —Gillian McCain, coauthor of Please Kill Me
“Hannah’s book illuminates this last great bohemia. . . . How fortunate that [he] managed to stagger home to bed to . . . immortalise his passage through this starry vortex.” —The Art Newspaper
“So brilliant, so sexy, so real.” —Danny Fields
“Terrific! Delightfully funny, written with great candor.” —Michael Lindsay-Hogg, director of Let It Be
“[A] hugely entertaining diary.” —John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
“A portrait of someone in love with and endlessly intrigued by the world around him. . . . Hannah has survived the seventies. More than that, he has kept them alive, in ink.” —The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“Hannah’s . . . good looks, talent, determination, and . . . his absolute willingness to test the human body’s capacities for alcohol, drugs, and (especially) sex . . . make us exceedingly fortunate that he wrote everything down. The other great joy . . . , apart from the splendor of all that excess, is the straight-line, crisp, beautiful nonchalance of his style.” —Peter Straub, author of Ghost Story
“A dandy, a flaneur, a rock ’n’ roll wastrel wandering Candide-like through the dangerous undercurrents of the 1970s: if Duncan Hannah didn’t exist, you’d have to invent him.” —Jon Savage, author of England’s Dreaming and 1966
“A breezy, demotically precise portrait of Bowie-and-Warhol New York.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
“An American literary classic. . . . Twentieth-Century Boy reads like a carefully crafted work of art. Savvy readers might be inclined to see it as literary kin to James Joyce’s classic, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. . . . [It] offers a fast-paced record of a time and a place unlike [any] other.” —New York Journal of Books
“That these pages were written by a raw boy painter and not an éminence grise master of the art of memoir is key to their magic and mystery. A Pillow Book from a decade when no one ever slept.” —Brad Gooch
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