Performance of the book Being There written by Jerzy Kosinski, Polish-born American writer.
Being There (1970) is one of Kosiński’s most significant works taking a satirical look at the unreality of America’s media culture. It is the story of Chance, a simple-minded gardener whose innocence, shallow platitudes, and total dependence on television for his vision of the world are interpreted as evidence of profound genius by socialites, business leaders, and politicians. The novel was made into a 1979 movie directed by Hal Ashby, starring Peter Sellers.
Jerzy Kosiński (born June 14, 1933, Łódź, Pol.—died May 3, 1991, New York, N.Y., U.S.), Polish-born American writer whose novels were sociological studies of individuals in controlling and bureaucratic societies. In 1957, he emigrated to the United States (settling in New York), taught himself English, and published two nonfiction works. Then Kosiński took the literary world by storm with The Painted Bird (1965), a graphic, fictionalized retelling of his own horrific experiences as a Jewish child in World War II. This was followed by Steps (1968), which won the National Book Award, and Being There (1971; film 1979). Kosiński had less success with his later novels, The Devil Tree (1973; revised 1981), Cockpit (1975), Passion Play (1979), Pinball (1982), and The Hermit of 69th Street (1988).
In later years Kosiński was an active member of several Polish-Jewish foundations and was president (1973–75) of the American branch of the international writers organization PEN.