Women (Bukowski novel)

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Women (Bukowski novel - front cover).jpg
First edition
AuthorCharles Bukowski
Cover artistCharles Bukowski
CountryUnited States
GenreAutobiographical novel
PublisherBlack Sparrow Press
Publication date
LC ClassPS3552.U4
Preceded byFactotum 
Followed byHam on Rye 

Women is a 1978 novel written by Charles Bukowski, starring his semi-autobiographical character Henry Chinaski. In contrast to Factotum, Post Office and Ham on Rye, Women is centered on Chinaski's later life, as a celebrated poet and writer, not as a dead-end lowlife. It does, however, feature the same constant carousel of women with whom Chinaski only finds temporary fulfillment.


Women focuses on the many dissatisfactions Chinaski faced with each new woman he encountered. One of the women featured in the book is a character named Lydia Vance; she is based on Bukowski's one-time girlfriend, the sculptress and sometime poet Linda King. Another central female character in the book is named "Tanya" who is described as a 'tiny girl-child' and Chinaski's pen-pal. They have a weekend tryst. The real-life counterpart to this character wrote a self-published chapbook about the affair entitled "Blowing My Hero" under the pseudonym Amber O'Neil.[1] The washed-up folksinger "Dinky Summers" is based on Bob Lind.[2]

In the book, Chinaski's nickname is Hank, which was one of Bukowski's nicknames.

Cover art[edit]

Bukowski himself drew the picture of the girl on the cover of the book.


The book was simultaneously published in Australia by Wild and Woolley, who bought a chunk of the first Black Sparrow Press print run.


As of 1996, there was a planned film adaptation of Women that apparently never materialized. The writer, producer, and production designer Polly Platt adapted the screenplay. Another attempt to turn Bukowski's novel into a film emerged in the 2010s; James Franco, Don Jon, and Voltage Pictures have been working with a new version scripted by Ethan Furman[3]. It is not clear (as of May 2019) whether this project is creatively connected to the '90s version, and whether the film will be completed and distributed.


When asked his favorite author, Chinaski responds, "Fante." John Fante was a major influence on Bukowski.[4] In 1980, he wrote the introduction for the reprint of Fante's 1939 novel Ask the Dust. Also in Californication,the lead character Hank Moody(Hank was the nickname of Bukoswki)is inspired from the story.



  1. ^ Howard Sounes, Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life, Grove Press, 1998, p. 275.
  2. ^ "KEY TO CHARACTERS IN BEAT AND BOHEMIAN LITERATURE". BohemiaLit.com. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  3. ^ Child, Ben (2015-06-19). "Charles Bukowski's Women set to be made into a movie". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  4. ^ Barra (2006).


External links[edit]