Winner of the Edgar(R) Award for Best Fact Crime The true account of one boy's lifelong search for his boarding-school bully. Equal parts childhood memoir and literary thriller, Whipping Boy chronicles prize-winning author Allen Kurzweil's search for his twelve-year-old nemesis, a bully named Cesar Augustus. The obsessive inquiry, which spans some forty years, takes Kurzweil all over the world, from a Swiss boarding school (where he endures horrifying cruelty) to the slums of Manila, from the Park Avenue boardroom of the world's largest law firm to a federal prison camp in Southern California. While hunting down his tormentor, Kurzweil encounters an improbable cast of characters that includes an elocution teacher with ill-fitting dentures, a gang of faux royal swindlers, a crime investigator with paper in his blood, and a ocled grand master of the Knights of Malta. Yet for all its global exoticism and comic exuberance, Kurzweil's riveting account is, at its core, a heartfelt and suspenseful narrative about the parallel lives of a victim and his abuser. A scrupulously researched work of nfiction that renders a childhood menace into an unlikely muse, Whipping Boy is much more than a tale of karmic retribution; it is a poignant meditation on loss, memory, and mourning, a surreal odyssey born out of suffering, urished by rancor, tempered by wit, and resolved, unexpectedly, in a breathtaking act of personal courage. Whipping Boy features two 8-page black-and-white photo inserts and 83 images throughout.
Allen Kurzweil is a prize-winning novelist, children's writer, inventor, and journalist. His work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the New Yorker, the New York Times, Smithsonian, and Vanity Fair. He is a graduate of Yale University and the recipient of Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.