Hubert Selby, Jr.

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Hubert "Cubby" Selby, Jr. (July 23, 1928 – April 26, 2004) was a 20th century American writer. His best-known novels are Last Exit to Brooklyn (1964) and Requiem for a Dream (1978). Both novels were later adapted into films.



Early life

Hubert Selby Sr. was a merchant seaman and a former coal miner from Kentucky. He and his wife Adalin settled in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bay Ridge. Hubert Selby Jr. was born in 1928, in Brooklyn, New York City. He attended various New York state schools, including Stuyvesant High School. His childhood nickname, "Cubby," stuck with him his entire life.

In 1943, Hubert Sr. returned to the United States Merchant Marine. His son, Hubert Jr., dropped out of school, and at the age of 15, was able to persuade the recruiters to allow him to join the merchant marine. The young Selby quickly experienced a number of misfortunes.

In 1947, while at sea, Selby was diagnosed with advanced tuberculosis. The doctors predicted that he would live less than a year. He was taken off the ship in Bremen, Germany, and sent back to America. For the next three and a half years, Selby was in and out of the Marine Hospital in New York for treatment.

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