“Bukowski’s voice is one of the most original and important in modern American literature.”
Sara (Sue) Hodson, the Huntington’s curator of literary manuscripts
He penned more than 50 novels and books of poetry such as “Post Office,” “Ham on Rye,” “Hollywood” and “Factotum
Born in Andernach, Germany, to a German woman and American soldier, Bukowski came to the United States as a small child when his family settled in Los Angeles.
Traumatized by abusive parents, he was regularly beaten by his father. Bukowski was also ostracized as a youngster because of a terrible case of acne that produced painful boils all over his face and back. The combination of this unhappy home life and physical disfigurement molded his role as a perpetual outsider. Bukowski saw an inherent cruelty in the world and lack of sympathy in human interactions. “He was essentially convinced of the hopelessness of humanity.”