Black Sun cover
Special offer:
Offer summary:
(20% off)
Publication date:
August 31, 2003
NYRB Classics
Available as E-Book, Biography & Memoir

Includes an afterword by the author

Harry Crosby was the godson of J. P. Morgan and a friend of Ernest Hemingway. Living in Paris in the twenties and directing the Black Sun Press, which published James Joyce among others, Crosby was at the center of the wild life of the lost generation. Drugs, drink, sex, gambling, the deliberate derangement of the senses in the pursuit of transcendent revelation: these were Crosby’s pastimes until 1929, when he shot his girlfriend, the recent bride of another man, and then himself.

Black Sun is novelist and master biographer Geoffrey Wolff’s subtle and striking picture of a man who killed himself to make his life a work of art.


It’s all here: drink, drugs, gambling, unending parties, affected costumes, sun worship, dozens of affairs (chiefly women), and always the undisciplined poetry and the death wish.
Library Journal

The best biography I have ever read.
— James Dickey

A fascinating biography….Wolff understands his man admirably, sympathizing with him while remaining deeply critical.
The New York Times Book Review

Crosby emerges as a character as complex and fascinating as Zelda or Alice Toklas, even Ezra Pound….A breathtaking story.
San Francisco Chronicle