With an introduction by Richard Flanagan
Dove Findhorn is a naive country boy who busts out of Hicksville, Texas in pursuit of a better life in New Orleans. Amongst the downtrodden prostitutes, bootleggers and hustlers of the old French Quarter, Dove finds only hopelessness, crime and despair. His quest uncovers a harrowing grotesque of the American Dream.
A Walk in the Wild Side is an angry, lonely, large-hearted and often funny masterpiece that has captured the imaginations of every generation since its first publication in 1956, and that rendered a world later immortalised in Lou Reed's classic song.
Nelson Algren was born in 1909 in Detroit and lived mostly in Chicago. His published works including A Walk on the Wild Side (which inspired the Lou Reed song of the same name), Somebody in Boots and Never Come Morning. He was also a prolific writer of short stories, essays, travelogues and poems. In 1950 The Man with the Golden Arm earned him the first American National Book Award. His life was a succession of gambling problems, disastrous marriages and wild extremes - ranging from Texas prisons and skid-row soup-kitchens to Hollywood parties and literary celebrations. He also had a passionate love affair with French feminist Simone de Beauvoir. Algren died in 1981, shortly after being appointed as a fellow of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.