Henry James Korn's first book, this collection of short form fiction was published by Assembling Press in 1974 with an original lithograph cover by photographer and printmaker Scott Hyde.
Memorable stories include King Kong in the Kitchen, The Condemned of Altoona, Four Dreams Dreamed by the Girl Who Ate Three Desserts, and One Thing Perfectly Clear.
Reviews and Comments: "New approaches to fiction include Henry James Korn's Exact Change. An opener will indicate his sardonic style: 'King Kong is a great cook. Not just competent, or a good cook, though this would itself be remarkable considering his great girth and unopposable thumb, but a truly wonderful chef.'" -Bill Katz, Best Small Press Titles of 1974, Library Journal
"I prize these remarkably witty and inventive fictions for their formal diversity and their author's control of tone within each form." -Richard Kostelanetz
"Henry James Korn supplies some of the best prose coming out of contemporary America." -Carl Harrison-Ford, The Australian
"The layering of exotic and often breathtakingly lovely imagery is cryptic and suggestive moving horizontally and vertically at equally stiff clips. This work sets its own terms, satisfies them and disconnects." -Tom Ahern, Margins
Henry James Korn's debut novel Amerikan Krazy is coming on February 22, 2016.
Korn has written about art, sports, popular culture, media and history for magazines and newspapers and his stories have been published in fiction anthologies and literary magazines. Korn was awarded a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
From 2008-13, Korn served as Orange County Great Park principal planning and program development specialist for arts, culture and history where he organized festivals and exhibitions and guided planning for the Palm Court Arts Complex and Great Park Gallery. Korn previously served as Director of the Poway Center for the Performing Arts Foundation; Director of Arts and Culture, City of Beverly Hills; President of Guild Hall of East Hampton (Eastern Long Island's cultural center); Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Irvine, Arts Commission Director for the City of Santa Monica; Executive Director, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Administrator of New York's Jewish Museum.
Mr. Korn holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University where he edited the undergraduate newspaper.
Though originally published in the mid-70's this collection of short fiction is still racily hilarious and biting today.
"King Kong in the Kitchen" has new resonance today given the new celebrity status that chefs have in modern culture. "One Thing Perfectly Clear" could be a great concept for a movie and really rounded out the caricature of Nixon I've always carried around, particularly as the story was written before his ultimate fall from grace. This piece also has some of the great biting humor that prefigures Korn's spectacular work in Amerikan Krazy.
The version of The Pontoon Manifesto included here is highly experimental and doesn't work as well in print form like this as well as it does in its artist's book deck of card version or in its web incarnation.
Some of the pieces have portions I'm just not sure how to describe other than that they're simply delicious. I find myself wondering why other writers don't know that writing can be like this. The admixture of politics, culture, humor, and writing has made me a veritable Henry James Korn fan.
My only regret was that the book finally came to an end, but I've found myself re-reading and laughing at it all over again and again.