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Chuck Palahniuk (1962)

Charles Michael Palahniuk

Type :  

  Summary  

Charles Michael "Chuck" Palahniuk is an American transgressional fiction novelist and freelance journalist. He is best known for the award-winning novel Fight Club, which was later made into a feature film. He lives near Portland, Oregon and spends time in Washington near Seattle.

  Biography  

 early life
Palahniuk was born in Pasco, Washington, the son of Carol and Fred Palahniuk, and grew up living in a mobile home in nearby Burbank, Washington with his family. His parents later separated and divorced, often leaving him and his three siblings to live with their grandparents at their cattle ranch in Eastern Washington. His paternal grandfather was Ukrainian and immigrated to New York from Canada in 1907.

In his twenties, Palahniuk attended the University of Oregon's School of Journalism, graduating in 1986. While attending college he worked as an intern for National Public Radio member station KLCC in Eugene, Oregon. He moved to Portland soon afterwards. After writing for the local newspaper for a short while, he began working for Freightliner as a diesel mechanic, continuing in that job until his writing career took off. During that time, he also wrote manuals on fixing trucks and had a stint as a journalist . After casually attending a free, introductory seminar held by an organization called Landmark Education, Palahniuk quit his job as a journalist in 1988. Palahniuk performed volunteer work for a homeless shelter; later, he also volunteered at a hospice as an escort; he provided transportation for terminally ill people and brought them to support group meetings. He ceased volunteering upon the death of a patient to whom he had grown attached.

Palahniuk became a member of the rebellious Cacophony Society in his adulthood. He is a regular participant in their events, including the annual Santa Rampage in Portland. His participation in the Society inspired some of the events in his writings, both fictional and non-fictional. Most notably, he used the Cacophony Society as the basis for Project Mayhem in Fight Club.

 career
Palahniuk began writing fiction in his mid-thirties. By his account, he started writing while attending writer's workshops, hosted by Tom Spanbauer, which he attended to meet new friends. Spanbauer largely inspired Palahniuk's minimalistic writing style.

 Fight Club
His first book, Insomnia: If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Already, never was adapted due to his disappointment with the story . When he attempted to publish his next novel, Invisible Monsters, publishers rejected it for its disturbing content. This led him to work on his most famous novel, Fight Club, which he wrote as an attempt to disturb the publisher even more for rejecting him. Palahniuk wrote this story in his spare time while working for Freightliner. After initially publishing it as a short story in the 1995 compilation Pursuit of Happiness, Palahniuk expanded it into a full novel, which—contrary to his expectations—the publisher was willing to publish. While the original hardcover edition of the book received positive reviews and some awards, it had a short shelf life.

Initially, Palahniuk struggled to find a literary agent and went without one until after the publication of Fight Club. After he began receiving attention from 20th Century Fox, Palahniuk was signed by actor and literary agent Edward Hibbert Hibbert eventually guided and brokered the deal that took Fight Club to the big screen. In 1999, three years after the novel's publication, the film adaptation by director David Fincher was released. The film was a box office disappointment (although it was #1 at the U.S. box office in its first weekend) and critical reaction was mixed but a cult following soon emerged as the DVD of the film was popular upon release. The novel has been re-released three times in paperback, in 1999, in 2004 , and in 2005 .

 Invisible Monsters, Survivor, and Choke

A revised version of Invisible Monsters, as well as his fourth novel, Survivor, were also published that year. A few years later Palahniuk managed to make his first New York Times bestseller, the novel Choke.

 Lullaby
The year 1999 brought a series of great personal tragedies to Palahniuk's life. At that time, his father, Fred Palahniuk, had started dating a woman named Donna Fontaine, whom he had met through a personal ad under the title "Kismet". Fontaine's ex-boyfriend Dale Shackleford had recently been imprisoned for sexual abuse. Shackleford had vowed to kill Fontaine as soon as he was released from prison. Palahniuk believes that through her personal ad, Fontaine was looking for "the biggest man she could find" to protect her from Shackleford and Palahniuk's father fit this description. After his release, Shackleford followed Fontaine and the senior Palahniuk to Fontaine's home in Kendrick, Idaho, after they had gone out for a date. Shackleford then shot them both and dragged their bodies into Fontaine's cabin home, which he set on fire immediately afterwards. In the spring of 2001, Shackleford was found guilty for two counts of murder in the first degree and sentenced to death. In the wake of these events, Palahniuk began working on the novel Lullaby. According to him, he wrote the novel to help him cope with having helped decide to have Shackleford get the death sentence.

In September 2003, Palahniuk was interviewed by Entertainment Weekly's Karen Valby. During the interview, Palahniuk in confidence mentioned information pertaining to his partner. While it had been previously believed by many that he was married to a woman , Palahniuk had in fact been living with his boyfriend. Some time later, Palahniuk believed that Valby was going to print this information in her article, without his consent. In response, he put an angry audio recording of himself on his web site, not only revealing that he is gay, but also making negative comments about Valby and a member of her family. However, Palahniuk's fears turned out to be ungrounded, and Valby's article did not reveal anything about his personal life outside of the fact that he is unmarried. The recording was later removed from the website, making some fans believe that Palahniuk is embarrassed by his homosexuality. According to Dennis Widmyer, the site's webmaster, the recording was not removed because of the statements regarding his sexuality, but because of the statements about Valby. Palahniuk would later post a new recording to his site, asking his fans not to overreact to these events. He also apologized for his behavior, claiming that he wished he had not recorded the message. Palahniuk is now openly gay, and he and his unnamed male partner, according to a profile and interview in The Advocate in May 2008, live in "a former church compound outside Vancouver, Wash."

 "Guts" and Haunted
While on his 2003 tour to promote his novel Diary, Palahniuk read to his audiences a short story titled "Guts", a tale of accidents involving masturbation, which appears in his book Haunted. It was reported that to that point, 40 people had fainted while listening to the readings. Playboy magazine would later publish the story in their March 2004 issue; Palahniuk offered to let them publish another story along with it, but the publishers found the second work too disturbing. On his tour to promote Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories in the summer of 2004, he read the story to audiences again, bringing the total number of fainters up to 53, and later up to 60, while on tour to promote the softcover edition of Diary. In the fall of that year, he began promoting Haunted, and continued to read "Guts". At his October 4, 2004 reading in Boulder, Colorado, Palahniuk noted that, after that day, his number of fainters was up to 68. The last fainting occurred on May 28, 2007, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, where 5 people fainted, one of which occurred when a man was trying to leave the auditorium, which resulted in him falling and hitting his head on the door. Palahniuk is apparently not bothered by these incidents, which have not stopped fans from reading "Guts" or his other works. Audio recordings of his readings of the story have since circulated on the Internet. In the afterword of the latest edition of "Haunted", Palahniuk reports that "Guts" is now responsible for 73 faintings.

At a 2005 appearance in Miami, Florida, during the Haunted tour, Palahniuk commented that Haunted represented the last of a "horror trilogy" . He also indicated that his then-forthcoming novel Rant would be the first of a "sci–fi trilogy".

In 2008, Palahniuk took a role as an instructor for the Clarion West Writers Workshop, spending a week teaching his writing methods and theory of fiction to eighteen students.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Паланик, Чак", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.