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Acute Misfortune: The Life and Death of Adam Cullen

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by Erik Jensen
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Acute Misfortune: The Life and Death of Adam Cullen by Erik Jensen

An unflinching portrait of talent and addiction.

In 2008 the artist Adam Cullen invited journalist Erik Jensen to stay in his spare room and write his biography.

What followed were four years of intense honesty and a relationship that became increasingly claustrophobic. At one point Cullen shot Jensen, in part to see how committed he was to the book. At another, he threw Jensen from a speeding motorbike. The book contract Cullen used to convince Jensen to stay with him never existed.

Acute Misfortune is a riveting account of the life and death of one of Australia's most celebrated artists, the man behind the Archibald Prize-winning portrait of David Wenham. Jensen follows Cullen through drug deals and periods of deep self-reflection, onwards into his court appearance for weapons possession and finally his death in 2012 at the age of forty-six.

The story is by turns tender and horrifying: a spare tale of art, sex, drugs and childhood, told at close quarters and without judgement.

"Fierce and spellbinding" - David Marr

"The terrible force of the painter's rush to self-destruction is matched all the way by the writer's calm mastery of his story." - Helen Garner

"A teasing and complex ode to a man who defied attempts to categorise him or to understand him. Jensen's portrait dares to be both beautiful and ugly - that is, he is both tender and forensic. This is a marvellous, propulsive, intelligent read." - Christos Tsiolkas

Erik Jensen is the founding editor of The Saturday Paper. He has worked as a journalist and editor at the Sydney Morning Herald, where he won the Walkley Award for Young Print Journalist of the Year and the United Nations Association of Australia's Media Peace Prize. His work has also appeared in the Monthly, New Statesman and other publications.

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Ebook Details
Pages: 176
Size: 2.8 MB
Publisher: Black Inc.
Date published:   2014
ISBN: 2370007146642 (DRM-EPUB)
9781922231802 (DRM-PDF)

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Nonfiction > Biography & Autobiography > Artists, Architects, Photographers

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