My Pursuit of Women
A raw, explicit memoir as high-intensity and riveting as any of his novels.
The year was 1958. Jean Hilliker had divorced her fast-buck hustler husband and resurrected her maiden name. Her son, James, was ten years old. He hated and lusted for his mother and ‘summoned her dead.’ Three months later, she was murdered.
The Hilliker Curse is a predator’s confession, a treatise on guilt and the power of malediction, and above all a cri de coeur. Ellroy single-mindedly seeks ‘atonement in women.’ He unsparingly describes his shattered childhood, his delinquent teens, his writing life, his love affairs and marriages, a nervous breakdown and the beginning of a relationship with an extraordinary woman who may just be the long-sought Her. It is a layered narrative of time and place, emotion and insight, sexuality and spiritual quest. And all of it is reported with a gut-wrenching and heart-rending candour.
The Hilliker Curse is a brilliant and soul-baring revelation of self. It is unlike any memoir you have ever read before.
“We turn the pages gripped with a rubbernecker's fascination...It is ugly, beautiful, reprehensible and moving. In other words, a hard book to forget.”
“High-octane...A breathless piece of writing...When it comes to pinning down the most startling possible word collision, Ellroy's acrobatic pizzazz is beyond doubt...This is literary knife-throwing at its most exhilarating and dangerous.”
Julie Myerson, Guardian
“A painfully honest book, written in Ellroy's usual blunt, breathless but often starkly beautiful prose... a marvellous read”
“James Ellroy's crime novels have been much acclaimed for their dark plots, tough prose and generally bleak view of the world. Now that he's brought those same qualities to bear on a history of relationships with women, the result, inevitably, is not for the faint-hearted...Ellroy writes with such swagger and certainty that it's hard not to be swept along. He also - let's face it - has quite a tale to tell.”
“The latest from this American literary legend is a stark rendition of murder, nervous breakdown, affairs, divorces and much more. It's an incredibly frank and soul-bearing piece of writing which goes some way to explaining the extreme and obsessive nature of Ellroy's brilliant novels.”
“A remarkable memoir...Hugely enjoyable.”