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Harold Norse has spent half a century simultaneously at the center and in the vanguard of literary and homosexual subcultures. His career began in 1939, when W. H. Auden seduced and "married" Norse's college lover, Chester Kallman. In Greenwich Village Norse became an intimate of James Baldwin (then working on his first novel) and in Provincetown lived with Tennessee Williams, who was completing The Glass Menagerie. In 1952, William Carlos Williams presented Norse at his reading debut calling Norse "the best poet of your generation." Other admirers included Anais Nin, Dylan Thomas, Christopher Isherwood, and e.e. Cummings. In the 1960s in Paris, Norse codeveloped the innovative Cut-up method while living in the Beat Hotel with William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Gregory Corso. In North Africa, Greece, and Spain Norse befriended Robert Graves, Leonard Cohen, and Paul and Jane Bowles. Repatriating to Venice, California, in 1968, Norse formed a literary alliance with Charles Bukowski (who called him "one of the great ones") and lifted weights with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Under any circumstances this book would be a major social document, but because he is a superb, evocative stylist, Harold Norse's candid autobiography is an engrossing classic of its kind.