Thomas Berger

Easton Press Thomas Berger books

Little Big Man - signed modern classic - 2000


Thomas Berger biography

Born on July 20, 1924, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Thomas Berger emerged as a prolific and versatile American author, renowned for his ability to navigate across diverse genres and explore the complexities of the human condition. His literary career spanned several decades, and his works are marked by a combination of wit, insight, and a keen understanding of the nuances of storytelling. Berger's early life experiences, including his service in the U.S. Army during World War II, provided a foundation for his future exploration of human behavior and societal dynamics. After the war, he pursued higher education, earning a Bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnati and later a Master's degree from Columbia University.

The literary landscape first took notice of Thomas Berger with the publication of his debut novel, Crazy in Berlin (1958). This work, set against the backdrop of post-war Berlin, showcased Berger's ability to blend dark humor with poignant reflections on the human psyche. It marked the beginning of a career defined by an inventive approach to narrative and genre. However, it was with the publication of Little Big Man (1964) that Berger achieved widespread recognition and critical acclaim. This ambitious novel presented a satirical and revisionist take on the American West, narrated by its centenarian protagonist, Jack Crabb. The novel's unique blend of historical commentary, humor, and philosophical reflection resonated with readers and solidified Berger's reputation as a literary craftsman. Berger continued to display his narrative versatility with works such as Neighbors (1980) and The Feud (1983), exploring themes of suburban life and family dynamics with his characteristic wit and insight. His ability to inhabit different genres and perspectives showcased the breadth of his storytelling prowess.

In addition to novels, Berger ventured into short stories, plays, and screenplays, further demonstrating his adaptability as a writer. His explorations of contemporary society, often infused with a satirical edge, contributed to the ongoing literary conversation about the complexities of American life.

Despite his literary accomplishments, Thomas Berger remained somewhat enigmatic, avoiding the spotlight and maintaining a degree of privacy. His commitment to his craft, however, was unwavering, and his influence on the literary landscape persisted through the years. Thomas Berger's legacy as a literary figure is characterized by the diversity of his narratives and his ability to capture the zeitgeist of different periods. His works, ranging from historical satires to explorations of modern life, continue to be appreciated for their insight, humor, and the enduring relevance of their themes. Berger's passing on July 13, 2014, marked the end of a rich and varied literary career, leaving behind a body of work that invites readers to engage with the complexities of the human experience in all its facets.


Little Big Man - Little Big Man Series Book 1

"I am a white man and never forget it, but I was brought up by the Cheyenne Indians from the age of ten."

So starts the story of Jack Crabb, the 111-year old narrator of Thomas Berger's masterpiece of American fiction. As a "human being", as the Cheyenne called their own, he won the name Little Big Man. He dressed in skins, feasted on dog, loved four wives and saw his people butchered by the horse soldiers of General Custer, the man he had sworn to kill.

As a white man, Crabb hunted buffalo, tangled with Wyatt Earp, cheated Wild Bill Hickok and survived the Battle of Little Bighorn. Part-farcical, part-historical, the picaresque adventures of this witty, wily mythomaniac claimed the Wild West as the stuff of serious literature.

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