An author and poet fascinated with the dark underbelly of the American dream, Charles Bukowski is renowned for his blunt, scrappy work. He had a rough working-class childhood in Los Angeles and found a series of mundane jobs as a young adult. When Bukowski started writing in earnest during the 1950s, it was mostly in the form of poetry that dwelt on the subjects of women, alcohol and daily drudgery. In 1971, Bukowski's first novel, <i>Post Office</i>, was published by Black Sparrow Press, introducing readers to his thinly veiled alcoholic alter ego Henry Chinaski, who would carry most of his subsequent novels, including <i>Factotum</i> (1975) and <i>Ham on Rye</i> (1982). Embraced as a rebellious literary crank in his later years, Bukowski had his moment of widest appeal in 1987 when his autobiographical script "Barfly" became a lauded movie starring Mickey Rourke as Chinaski. Bukowski died in 1994 of leukemia, with his posthumous reputation only growing larger and heightened by the well-received documentary "Bukowski: Born into This" (2003) and the 2005 indie adaptation of <i>Factotum</i>, starring Matt Dillon as Chinaski.