Book Notification

Charlie Kaufman Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Screenplays Books

Being John Malkovich (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Human Nature (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Adaptation. (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Synecdoche, New York (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Scenes of Anomalisa (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

A Cage Went in Search of a Bird: Ten Kafkaesque Stories(2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Charlie Kaufman
Charlie Kaufman was born in New York, New York on November 19, 1958 to a Jewish family, and the son of Myron and Helen Kaufman. He is a film producer, film and theater director, author, and playwright.

He grew up in the city of Massapequa, New York, before he moved to West Hartford, Connecticut, where he graduated from high school. As a young student, he was an avid reader and wrote plays and made some short films. During high school, he was in the drama club, performing in many productions before he landed the lead part in a production of “Play It Again, Sam” in his senior year.

He went to Boston University after graduating high school, but he quickly transferred to New York University in order to study film. As he attended NYU, Kaufman Paul Proch, with whom he wrote a lot of unproduced plays and scripts.

He and Proch wrote comedic spoofs and articles for National Lampoon from 1983 until 1984. Charlie’s output included parodies of X-Men and Kurt Vonnegut. They attempted getting their screenplays produced, and sent them off to many people in the film industry. They got a supportive letter from Alan Arkin about a script called Purely Coincidental.

While he was pursuing his writing career, he took odd jobs in customer service to support his wife (Denise) and himself. At the end of the eighties, he lived and worked in Minneapolis, answering calls about missing newspapers at the Star Tribune.

He was offered a job on Access America, which was coincidentally being shot in Minneapolis. Kaufman was ready to accept the job and go back to Minneapolis, but was offered a job by David Mirkin writing for “Get a Life”, a show Mirkin and Chris Elliott starred on. Kaufman penned two episodes before it was canceled in the year 1992.

After the show was canceled, he pursued writing jobs on television series and wrote some pilot scripts, none which were ever produced. He did get work on shows like The Trouble With Larry, The Edge, and Ned and Stacey, which he produced. The Dana Carvey Show was the most notable series he wrote for. On all of the series he wrote for, he struggled to keep his material from being either not produced at all or at least adulterated due to his quiet nature and unconventional writing.

It was during this time of writing that he wrote “Being John Malkovich” in 1994 on spec, sending it out to many studios and companies, all of whom turned it down. The script reached Francis Ford Coppola, who passed it off to Spike Jonze, his then son-in-law, who directed the film, which was released in 1999.

While attempting to write an adaptation to “The Orchid Thief”, a novel by Susan Orlean, he got writer’s block. He turned the screenplay into an exaggerated account of his struggles with adapting said script.

He has said that he prefers to be involved in the movie making process from start to finish when it features a script he has written.

Kaufman stated that his novel, “Antkind” was written so it would be unfilmmable, and is itself about a movie that is impossible.

His work explores universal themes like mortality, identity crisis, and the meaning of life through a parapsychological or metaphysical framework. His work resists labels, but is sometimes described as surrealist. Sometimes, he will include fictionalized ‘facts’ about his life in his work, most notably in Hope Leaves the Theater and Adaptation. Another recurrent theme in his works is gender identity.

He lives in Manhattan, New York, after having lived for many years in Pasadena, California. He and wife, Denise, have a child together, a daughter named Anna.

In the year 2003, Charlie was listed at one hundred on Premiere’s yearly “Power 100” list. He was one of the one hundred most powerful people in Hollywood by Time Magazine in the year 2004. “Antkind” was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Charlie has also won the Independent Spirit Award, the Academy Award, and BAFTA.

Charlie’s debut, called “Antkind”, was released in the year 2020, and is from the literary fiction genre.

“Antkind” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2020. B. Rosenberger Rosenberg, underappreciated movie critic and neurotic and a failed academic, paramour, filmmaker, shoe salesman that sleeps in a sock drawer, he comes across an unseen film made by some enigmatic outsider. He is certain the film will change his entire career trajectory and rock the cinema world right to its core.

His hands are on what could be the greatest film ever made, which is a three month long stop motion masterpiece that took its reclusive auteur some ninety years to even finish. B. knows that it is his mission to be able to show it to the rest of mankind. The only problem is the film gets destroyed, and leaves him the only witness to its inadvertently ephemeral genius.

All that is left of this masterwork is but a single frame of which B. has to recall the film that might be the final great hope of civilization. Thus starts a mind-boggling journey through the nightmarescape of a psyche that is just as lushly Kafkaesque as it is decayed by the ceaseless spew from Twitter.

Since he is desperate to impose order on the increasingly nonsensical existence and stuck in a self-imposed prison of aspirational victimhood and the degeneratively inclusive language, B. struggles to re-create this lost piece of art. All while he tries keeping pace with an ever-fracturing culture filled with “likes” and arbitrary denunciations that’re also his raison d’etre and his bete noir.

This is a searing indictment of the modern world and is a richly layered meditation on time, art, identity, memory, comedy, and the very nature of existence period, which is the small grain of truth within every joke. This book is so stuffed with audacity, hilarity, and invention that it feels like an act of defiance. This is unbridled Kaufman with and energy coming up against the limits of imagination itself: subversive, discursive, and truly humorous.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Charlie Kaufman

Leave a Reply