Jeremy Larner


Biography of Jeremy Larner

Jeremy Larner (born March 20, 1937) is an author, poet, journalist and speechwriter. He won an Academy Award in 1972 for Best Original Screenplay, for writing The Candidate.

Childhood

Jeremy Larner grew up in Indiana, in the quiet but violent '50's, and had some playground rep as a basketball player in Indianapolis, where he encountered Oscar Robertson and other future stars on the playground courts of that city.

Education and influences

Larner graduated from Brandeis University in 1958 (where he was close to Herbert Marcuse, Irving Howe, Philip Rahv, and a fellow student named Abbie Hoffman, who later, running a small bookstore in Worcester, Massachusetts, became an early champion of Larner's first novel.)

Early career

In 1959, Larner began a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship at UC Berkeley, but finding himself unsuited for academic life he left graduate school in his first year and came to New York City at 22. He stayed there throughout the 1960s, writing five books in that period.

In 1962, Larner was assigned by Dissent magazine to cover the teacher's strike, and spent several months going to elementary school classes in Harlem. His long account of what he discovered was widely anthologized, having come to the attention of Michael Harrington, author of the book, the Other America: Poverty In The United States, which inspired John Kennedy & Robert Kennedy.

Larner's first published piece was a critique of J.D. Salinger, published in Partisan Review in 1961. Also in that year he journeyed south to cover the lunch-counter sit-in strikes organized at black universities, and wrote several pieces for The New Leader and Dissent.

In '63, Larner edited a taped collection of interviews with heroin addicts at the Henry Street Settlement in New York. The harrowing stories told in these interviews became the basis of one of the first books from tape: The Addict in the Street, which remained in print for 20 years. Grove Press celebrated its publication in early '65 with a party for Larner and William S. Burroughs, where Norman Mailer challenged Larner to a fight.

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