1928 – 1971
Who was Alfred Chester?
Alfred Chester was an American writer known for his provocative, experimental work, including the novels Jamie Is My Heart's Desire and The Exquisite Corpse and the short story collection Behold Goliath.
Chester was born in Flatbush in Brooklyn, New York. X-rays used to treat childhood illness left him bald, and he wore a wig, which though noticeable was not something that people felt comfortable mentioning. He was educated at Orthodox Jewish yeshiva. He attended New York University where he met fellow writers Cynthia Ozick, Sol Yurick and Edward Field. He attended graduate school at Columbia University but dropped out. He lived in France for most of the 1950s as an openly gay man. In 1952 his essay "Silence in Heaven" was published in Marguerite Caetani's literary review Botteghe oscure. Chester wrote a pornographic novel, Chariot of Flesh for Olympia Press using the pseudonym Malcolm Nesbit.
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