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Leonard Pitt

My Brain on Fire: Paris and Other Obsessions

Soft Skull Press

Pitt is in his 70s, teaching theater in Berkeley. Growing up in 1950s Detroit, he suffered from learning disabilities. He escaped through art, and in 1962 traveled to Paris, where he studied acting, sold newspapers, and worked as a translator, among other jobs. Obsessively curious and focused, he recounts witnessing the 1968 Paris student riots, traveling to Bali to study mask theater, and returning to post-’60s America as “Leonard the walking talking anachronism.” Though every page of his book is about himself, I never felt overwhelmed, just entertained by a regular guy with the nerve to live an interesting life.

– Bruce Collier
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