DRUNKEN ANGEL is the story of a rebel poet's climb from drunken hell to reclaim the gift he betrayed and to find the daughter he abandoned. Kaufman recounts with unvarnished honesty the story of alcoholism that took him to the brink of death, the PTSD that drove him to the edge of madness, and the love that brought him back. As an account of personal redemption, DRUNKEN ANGEL takes its place alongside such spiritual masterpieces as Thomas Merton's Seven Storey Mountain and W. Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge.
Never has there been a more harrowing depiction of alcoholic ruin or recovery's spiritual triumph. Alan Kaufman's descent takes us from the street gangs of the Bronx to the intellectual centers of Manhattan, from the battlefields of Gaza and the West Bank to the punk rock nights of the East Village, the poetry stages of Europe, and finally, to San Francisco. On the way, Kaufman is transformed into a writer's writer, one of the most respected of his time, and a celebrated and controversial public figure. DRUNKEN ANGEL is a testament to the power of recovery from alcoholism to rescue forfeited dreams and of love to renew the human spirit.
ALAN KAUFMAN is an American novelist, memoirist and poet who was instrumental in the development of the Spoken Word movement in literature and in the rise of alternative Jewish culture. David Mamet has called Kaufman's Matches "an extraordinary war novel," and Dave Eggers has written that "there is more passion here than you see in twenty other books combined." Ruth Prawer Jhabvala has praised Kaufman's Jew Boy as "astonishing...a grand epic of a memoir." Hubert Selby, Jr. has described Jew Boy as a work inspiring "wonder and awe." The San Francisco Chronicle called Jew Boy a "classic coming of age story."
Kaufman is the editor of the bestselling The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry and co-editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Literature, alongside Barney Rosset and Neil Ortenberg. His other books include The Outlaw Bible of American Essays and The New Generation: Fiction For Our Time From America's Writing Programs. He has written for The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and numerous other publications. A lay ordained Zen practitioner and twenty years clean and sober, he is Dean of The Free University of San Francisco, which the New York Times recently compared to the Freedom Schools of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.