Ten-plus years in the making, it’s a huge pleasure to see Jim Elledge’s Henry Darger biography finally hitting the shelves! Gorgeously packaged by Overlook Press and featuring never-before-seen Darger canvases and photographs from private collections, this is a fascinating, beautiful exploration of a complicated man growing up in a complicated time.
Here’s what other folks are saying:
“Prolific author and editor Elledge presents an extraordinarily compassionate and adventurously researched biography of the self-taught Chicago artist, Henry Darger. Drawing on his far-ranging investigation and keen psychological perception, Elledge poignantly and convincingly argues that the torture Darger depicted and his fantasies of revenge and rescue were cathartic responses to the traumas he suffered. Now, 40 years after Darger’s death, justice is finally served in Elledge’s gripping, humanizing, and haunting portrait of the artist as a wronged man.” —Booklist, Starred Review
“Ostracized in life and vilified after his death, Henry Darger is the ultimate American anti-hero. Elledge reveals Darger as a damaged, fearful, gay man, raised in a world unaware of the consequences of child abuse or gay shame—and his strange art as a triumph over trauma.”—Dick Donahue, Publishers Weekly
“Solidly, clearly, and with remarkable prescience, Jim Elledge brings to life Henry Darger, the janitor-saint of outsider art, a devotee of obsessive beauty and, until now, dark shadow lurking at the edge of his visionary work. Especially by detailing Darger’s lifelong romantic friendship with Whillie, Elledge performs an important rescue operation, restoring the pang of human backstory to the artist’s fantastical creations.”—Brad Gooch, author of Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor
Pick up a copy here!