Download e-book for iPad: Becoming richard pryor by Saul, Assistant Professor Of English Scott

By Saul, Assistant Professor Of English Scott

ISBN-10: 0062123327

ISBN-13: 9780062123329

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Perhaps the death of Marie’s mother triggered some second thoughts about what it meant to remain with a dangerous man for one’s whole adult life. Roy had continued to get in hot water with the law—he’d been arrested in a sting on their home for running a gaming house there—and there was realistically no end to the struggle. In April 1922, Marie filed for divorce from Roy, charging him with cruelty and asking for full custody of their four children. The children ended up with Marie. A few years later, while working as a cook at a restaurant, Roy got into an argument with his boss and assaulted him with a heavy cooking utensil; the restaurant owner responded with a fusillade of knives, forks, and plates, and when they didn’t connect, he threatened Roy’s life with a gun while Roy hid behind the stove.

Younger relatives of Pryor, such as his two half-sisters, were willing to share their memories. And there were many more people, friends and lovers and collaborators of Pryor, who wanted to talk, too—to fill in the gaps in Pryor’s own account of his life, or add a missing dimension, or dispute some piece of it. This book is built, in no small part, on the memories of the eighty-some people I have interviewed, many of whom were generous enough to speak for hours, and often over several days, about Pryor.

The tapes offered a fascinating jumble of material. They encompassed Pryor’s programs on KPFA, his concerts at local clubs, his ideas for unproduced screenplays, his attempts at spontaneous poetry, and even an avant-garde sound collage. Listening to them over the course of a long afternoon, I could hear how Pryor, having come to Berkeley without a clear sense of his future, had absorbed the countercultural energies of his new home and tried out different versions of himself: serious actor, guerrilla filmmaker, poet, political satirist.

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Becoming richard pryor by Saul, Assistant Professor Of English Scott


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