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The Richard Pryor Biography We've Been Waiting For

...And for a long time now, too.

Illustration for article titled The Richard Pryor Biography We've Been Waiting For

The book is Becoming Richard Pryor, written by Scott Saul. It will be published by Harper Collins in a few weeks. I was given a copy late last week and after reading the first 30 pages I thought to myself—Holy crap, this could be the great Pryor biography that we've been waiting for all these years.

"Becoming Richard Pryor is a fascinating, exhilarating read. Scott Saul dives deeper and comes up with more treasure than previous biographers of Pryor; he deftly traces the stamp that Pryor left on American culture at one of its more impressionable moments. The great grace of the book, though, is how well written it is: it makes the worlds Pryor inhabited, and Pryor himself, come alive with a thrilling intensity. I didn't want to put the book down and couldn't wait to get back to it."—Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

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Indeed. Saul can really write, man.

Now, as an added treat, Saul has built a lavish archival website chronicling Pryor's childhood in Peoria, Illinois. I don't think I've ever seen anything like this from a biographer but it is worth celebrating.

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Here's a quick overview of Pryor's life.

So, don't sleep: Buy the book (and get it as a holiday gift for those people you know who need to read it). And if you are interested in getting a signed copy of Becoming Richard Pryor, Saul is happy to inscribe a 'book plate' (essentially a nice sticker) with the name you'd like, then mail it to you.

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Then: Dig the site.

Long live the great Richard Pryor.

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