Pull Devil, Pull Baker
Pull Devil, Pull Baker is one of the oddest autobiographies ever written. The novelist Stella Benson first encountered an eccentric Russian nobleman, Count Nicolas de Toulouse Lautrec De Savine in the pauper's ward of a Hong Kong hospital. Striking up a friendship, she found herself fascinated by the Count's garrulous memoirs, written in a unique blend of English, French, and Russian. The Count's adventures included a stint as a Russian cavalry officer, gold mining in California, a failed attempt to establish himself as Czar of Bulgaria, get-rich-quick schemes, and countless romantic entanglements. Were these all inventions of his fervid mind, like a latter-day Baron Munchausen? Were they true? Could they be both? In Pull Devil, Pull Baker, Stella Benson not only collected the Count's recollections but provided a running commentary that reflects on the nature of memory, truth, and the power of storytelling. In the process, she created a book that anticipates by decades the "new nonfiction" school of such bestsellers as The Lifespan of a Fact and the work of Geoff Dyer, W. G. Sebald and others who weave together fiction and fact. Pull Devil, Pull Baker exemplifies the unique and remarkable books being brought back to print by Recovered Books, the new series from Boiler House Press that celebrates the gems that have been lost to thechanging tides of critical and popular taste. Pull Devil, Pull Baker is easily the most exceptional and genre-busting reissue of 2022.