WillefordÂ’s spare, laconic, unflinching memoir is one of his essential books Â– one of the essential books in the American vernacular, letÂ’s say.Â” Â–Jonathan Lethem
Â“IÂ’m proud to say I knew the man who wrote this book. It is pure writing, never pretentious or forced, never melodramatic, but honest storytelling of the highest order. This is how to do it, if anyone wants to know: how to write simple prose from a young boyÂ’s point of view and hold the reader spellbound. Â– Elmore Leonard
PictureBox and Family are pleased to announce the release of Charles WillefordÂ’s I Was Looking for a Street. This memoir tells the story of the authorÂ’s childhood and adolescence as an orphan, as he moves from railroad yards to hobo tent cities, to soup kitchens and deserts around Los Angeles and across the United States. The ensuing tale is at once a picaresque adventure through Depression-era America and a portrait of the writer as a young man of seemingly little promise but great spirit. Written late in WillefordÂ’s career, this book is the work of a writer at the height of his powers, looking back without nostalgia or regret, and preserving in his clear and powerful prose the great American adventure of his youth.
A former professional boxer, actor, horse trainer and radio announcer, Charles Willeford (1919Â–1988) is best known for his Miami-based crime novels featuring hardboiled detective Hoke Moseley, including Miami Blues and Sideswipe. His career as a writer began in the late 1940s, but it was his 1972 novel Cockfighter (later adapted for the screen by Monte Hellman) that announced his name to a wider audience. His other books include The Burnt Orange Heresy, Pick-up, and Something About a Street.