City Lights celebrates the release of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s new novel Little Boy published by Doubleday Books
Opening Statement by Peter Maravelis/City Lights with readings by Maxine Hong Kingston, Michael Krasny, Armistead Maupin, Joyce Carol Oates, Julien Poirier, Andrew Sean Greer, and Shobha Rao.
About Little Boy:
From the famed publisher and poet, author of the million-copy-selling collection A Coney Island of the Mind, his literary last will and testament — part autobiography, part summing up, part Beat-inflected torrent of language and feeling, and all magical.
In this unapologetically unclassifiable work Lawrence Ferlinghetti lets loose an exhilarating rush of language to craft what might be termed a closing statement about his highly significant and productive 99 years on this planet. The “Little Boy” of the title is Ferlinghetti himself as a child, shuffled from his overburdened mother to his French aunt to foster childhood with a rich Bronxville family. Service in World War Two (including the D-Day landing), graduate work, and a scholar gypsy’s vagabond life in Paris followed. These biographical reminiscences are interweaved with Allen Ginsberg-esque high energy bursts of raw emotion, rumination, reflection, reminiscence and prognostication on what we may face as a species on Planet Earth in the future. Little Boy is a magical font of literary lore with allusions galore, a final repository of hard-earned and durable wisdom, a compositional high wire act without a net (or all that much punctuation) and just a gas and an inspiration to read.