Biographical Information About Crad Kilodney
|This information has been compiled by from the biographical information which Crad has written in his books, mostly from the “About the Author” sheet which was printed at the same time as the publication of “Girl on the Subway” by Black Moss Press.
Crad Kilodney was born in 1948 in Jamaica in the Borough of Queens, New York City and grew up in the suburbs of Long Island. He majored in astronomy at the University of Michigan and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1968. Crad attended the University of Michigan at the same time as Ted Kaczynski, although he doesn’t ever remember meeting him. He worked for four months at a planetarium in the southern U.S., quit, and never took up science again.
Although Crad had no formal training in writing or understanding of publishing he began writing stories and other short works and submitting them indiscriminately to major magazines and obscure literary magazines alike. By the early ’70’s he had a very few things published, including the first short story ever accepted by The National Lampoon from their slush pile of unsolicited manuscripts.
From 1970-73 he worked for a vanity press called Exposition Press — an experience which had a tremendous influence on him. He was also influenced by the stories of Bruce Jay Friedman and (years later) by the books of Henry Miller.
In 1973 he moved to Canada and worked at a series of unpleasant jobs for Toronto book publishers. Most of this work was manual labour. In 1977 he got the idea of publishing his stories as short books of around 40 pages and hawking them on the street. Early in ’78 he walked out of his last job and six months later he was on the street with his first little book, Mental Cases, published as a special issue of the New Orleans literary magazine, Lowlands Review.
The following year he created his own imprint, Charnel House, and continued publishing short books. His works continued to appear in small magazines as well. He sold his books in public until July 19, 1995 and during that time he claimed to be the only author in the world who did so as his sole occupation. Between 1978 and 1995 Crad published 32 books. Crad’s stories never appeared in major Canadian anthologies and he was rarely reviewed in the literary press. While he was a writer Crad lived the life of a starving artist. He described his lifestyle in his two autobiographical books Excrement and Putrid Scum.
All of Crad’s books were printed in limited editions, all sold out and all of them are collector’s items. While he was on the street he also secretly recorded his conversations with the people who stopped to talk to him. He published some of these conversations in a series of six cassette tapes called On The Street With Crad Kilodney. These tapes were also produced in limited edition and are very difficult to find.
In 1988 Crad perpetrated what he says was the biggest literary hoax in Canadian history when he submitted several stories by classic authors to the CBC Radio literary competition disguised as new works by unknown amateurs. All of them were screened out by the first readers.
In 1991 Crad was charged for the first time with “exposing goods for sale without authority” and later that year (during Arts Week in Toronto), was convicted in by-law court, thereby becoming the first writer in the history of Canada to be convicted of selling his own books on the street.
Although Crad achieved some attention as an iconoclast and a sort of unofficial patriarch of Canada’s self-published authors he has never wished to be known as an eccentric, counter-culture beatnik. He just wanted to create something interesting, to earn a reasonable living and to be respected as a legitimate author. When he retired from his writing/publishing/street-selling activities in 1995 he had published stories in over 70 collections and magazines but had not achieved the general respect and notoriety which one might have expected if one had read a few of his books, heard one of his On The Street With Crad Kilodney tapes or gotten to know him a little.
Crad currently (Winter, 1998) lives near Sherbourne and Isabella streets in Toronto. He has learned a great deal about mining and oil exploration around the world and spends most of his time learning about companies involved in those industries.
Most of Crad’s books included a page at the back entitled “About the Author”. Here are some excerpts from some of those pages:
- From Human Secrets (book one), 1981
- Crad Kilodney was born in Jamaica, New York, in 1948 and moved to Canada in 1973. After completing a degree in astronomy at the University of Michigan, he abandoned his scientific career to become a writer. His stories and other writings have appeared in many small magazines in the U.S., Canada, England and Scotland. He began selling his books on the streets of Toronto in 1978. He also writes the advice column for Rustler and is well-known in his community as a moral degenerate.
- From Junior Brain Tumors in Action, 1990
- Crad Kilodney was born in Mongolia in 1953 to a family of nomadic idiots and became one of the most important writers of his country by the age of ten, mainly on the strength of his 8-page pamphlet, Good Jokes For Mongolians. At thirteen, he entered the People’s Conservatory of Music in Ulan Bator on a harmonica scholarship and soon mastered the complete works of Richard Wagner. He was later joined in the capital city by his brother, Furpo, a free-lance pickpocket and abortionist. These were happy years, marred only by the tragic bus plunge, of which the two lads were the sole survivors. Crad lost both his legs, and Furpo lost the keys to his health club locker. In 1970 the brothers responded to a classified ad in the New York Times Book Review for “Mongoloid idiots to read manuscripts for a major New York publisher.” Their passage prepaid via tramp steamer (all the passengers and crew being tramps), they arrived in New York during the Great Anthrax Plague, a secret C.I.A. bio-warfare experiment which went amiss and was conveniently blamed on Puerto Ricans. Seeking safety, the brothers inadvertently shuffled through Harlem. After a prolonged period of convalescence, they took up their duties at Exposition Press, the famous vanity press on Long Island. Crad was “the man behind” such unacknowledged classics as Two Days With Hitler In Yellowstone Park and God Drives A Flying Saucer, while Furpo specialized in bilking widows of their life savings. Because of a severe allergy to police detectives, the Kilodneys fled to Canada. Once settled, they set up an apartment-locating service for Nazi war criminals, which was later bought out by Tridel. Crad then began writing short books of obscene stories to sell to children on the street, and Furpo took up drawing, painting, photography, and breeding wolverines in their basement apartment in North York. In 1988 Crad was voted one of the “5,000 best Toronto writers not living anywhere near the Annex.” The brothers now share a common-law wife, the famous feminist poet Fluorine Og, whose double vagina is commonly featured in medical textbooks.
- From Sex Slaves of the Astro-Mutants, 1982
- The author’s origins have been shrouded in mystery at the request of his parents. At an early age, he was told to leave home, change his name, and live in obscurity. Hence, there is no certain knowledge of his activities during most of the 60’s and 70’s. Unconfirmed rumors place him in Albania selling wolf insurance to shepherds, in Venezuela running an apartment locating service for Nazi war criminals, in a Florida prison for distributing “codger pornography” to residents of St. Petersburg, in Labrador as head of an anti-seal “death squad,” and in New York as an editor of crackpot books for a vanity press. There is documented evidence of his stories and other writings appearing in at least fifty literary publications in North America and Britain. In 1978, he appeared suddenly on the streets of Toronto selling his first privately published collection of stories. In 1979, he founded his own imprint, Charnel House, under which several other collections have been issued. His largest book, Lightning Struck My Dick, was commercially published by Virgo Press in 1980. No newspaper in Canada would review it. In addition to selling his own books on the street, the author writes the advice column for Canada’s foremost men’s magazine, Rustler. His hobbies are smelting iron ore and whipping young girls in his basement. You may write to him at the address given in the front of the book.
- From The Green Book, 1985
- The bizarre satire of Crad Kilodney has made him the most widely read author in several Ontario insane asylums. His name is already a household word in parts of Mongolia, Paraguay, and North York. Among the Ifugao tribesmen of the Philippines, it is synonymous with “rancid pus.” His prose style has been compared with that of King Ludwig II of Bavaria.THE GREEN BOOK is green and rectangular, and it will make fine, abnormal bedtime, subway, or bathroom reading for anyone whose brain has not yet turned into a potato as a result of Toronto’s Urban Zombie Syndrome.
- From Nice Stories for Canadians, 1988
- The arthur of this bok, Crad Kilodney, has been writting for about six months and hopes to be a real writter some day. This is his second bok, the first one was about snakes. It has some pitchers and story about snakes. But it dint sell.The arthur has to sell his boks on the street because he dont have much talent yet and cant find no publisher. He wood like to take a creative writting corse somehwere like at York or O.C.A. to lern to writ, but first he got to finish high-school by home corespondence.
If you have some advise for the arthur, please let him no because he needs it. (See adress in front of bok.)
If things dont work out soon, the arthur will probly quit writting and go work in a publishers warehouse so he can lern more about he world of littature.
The arthur, Kilodney, hopes you havnt been incomvenienced by him selling his boks on the street. It probly wont be for long.
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