...And for a long time now, too.
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.
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.
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.
Then: Dig the site.
Long live the great Richard Pryor.