Andy Kaufman defied explanation. Between 1978 and 1979, acclaimed novelist and New Yorker short story writer Julie Hecht attempted to arrange an interview with him, hoping to discover how he came to do what he did. The one-hour interview turned into innumerable surreal meetings and phone conversations with her subject; but she couldn't always tell when his act was on. Whether driving recklessly on icy roads or drawing the author unawares into his schemes and Dada-esque pranks on unsuspecting waiters and college students, Andy Kaufman never seemed to separate himself from his stage personality -- or personalities. Was This Man a Genius? is the culmination of a series of bizarre, frequently hilarious meetings. In describing them, Hecht, herself a master of wit and observation, illuminates the enigma of Andy Kaufman's work and life.

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