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Philip Dossick’s Biography


Philip Dossick (born 1941) is an American novelist, director, screenwriter, book editor and publisher, whose body of work spans over fifty years. His writings frequently explore the themes of fate, bad luck and injustice, especially as applied to downtrodden or everyman protagonists.

1 Early Years

Dossick was born in Brooklyn, New York, the oldest child of Jesse Dossick, a history professor at NYU, and Sarah Dossick, a teacher of the deaf. As a teenager, Dossick studied jazz drumming with Johnny Morris and Gene Krupa, and became a member of Local 802 musicians union. He worked as a gofer at MKR, studying film editing with Ralph Rosenblum, and later with Shirley Clarke at NYU. He supported himself with many jobs, working as a cab driver, bartender, waiter, construction worker, factory worker, radio talk show producer and musician.

2 Career

Dossick has written and directed for the screen. His motion picture The P.O.W. a drama about a wounded Vietnam veteran, received critical acclaim when it was released. The headline of the New York Times review read, “Impressive Directorial Debut.” It concluded with, “If I have made it sound like a triumph of film maker’s strategy, that’s the kind of movie The P.O.W. is. You don’t go out smiling from a movie about a paraplegic. But you may go out admiring the skill, the tact, the instincts of a new director who has made an impressive debut.” [2]

Later, he wrote Transplant, published by Viking Press, a biography of one of the earliest recipients of a heart transplant, John Hurley. [3]

The book was adapted for television and produced by David Susskind for the CBS television network. It was a groundbreaking film at the time that also included graphic surgical footage provided by Stanford Medical Center. [4]

Susskind considered the film one of those that best represented his career. [5]

Dossick has written novels, novellas, poetry, essays on privacy, a history of the Aztecs, and over his five decade career has edited, adapted and published works by such writers as William Wordsworth, Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Frederick Douglass, Joseph Conrad, Michel de Montaigne, Oscar Wilde, Ford Madox Ford, Franz Kafka, Henry James, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Thomas Hardy, Anton Chekhov, Kate Chopin, Rainer Maria Rilke, John Stuart Mill, D.H. Lawrence, Nikolai Gogol, Murasaki Shikibu, E.E. Cummings, Gertrude Stein, Anthony Trollope, Edith Wharton, Ezra Pound, Friedrich Nietzsche, Charles Dickens, Franz Boas, Louis Brandeis, James Joyce, Jane Austen, Gustave Flaubert, Virginia Woolf, Thomas Mann, T.S. Eliot, Emily Dickinson, Nikola Tesla, Marcel Proust, George Bernard Shaw, John Keats, John Masefield, Arthur Schopenhauer, Paul Gauguin, Marianne Moore, Emile Zola, George Eliot, Stefan Zweig, Honoré de Balzac, Vincente Blasco Ibanez, Jack London, Edmund Burke, Stendahl, Cesar Vallejo, William Butler Yeats, Alexander Pushkin, Arthur Rimbaud, J.W. von Goethe, Sherwood Anderson, Emma Goldman, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Marquis de Sade, Mariano Azuela, Aphra Behn, Rene Descartes, William Shakespeare, Willa Cather, Herman Hesse, Edgar Allen Poe, John Donne, Rebecca West, P.G. Wodehouse, Ulysses S. Grant, Sojourner Truth, G.K. Chesterton, Winston Churchill, Eugene O'Neill and many others.

3 Selected Bibliography

Transplant, Aztecs: Epoch Of Social Revolution, Slab City U.S.A., Sex And Dreams, Mark Twain In Seattle, The Naked Citizen: Notes On Privacy In The Twenty-First Century, Lurid Tales & Classic Oddities, Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, Remembering Henry David Thoreau, The Deposition, Vincent Van Gogh: Madness And Magic, Oscar Wilde: Sodomy and Heresy, Abraham Lincoln: 5 Speeches that Changed America, Lenny Bruce: The Myth of Free Speech, The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, The Art of the Novella, The Romantic Poetry of Robert Burns - Soul of Scotland, Jack London: The Maelstrom Collection, Times That try Men's Souls: Henry David Thoreau and Thomas Paine on Slavery and Civil Disobedience, Master and Protégé: Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, Ghost Dance Prophets: Wovoka, Lincoln, and Franz Boas, Voces de Libertad, Arrested! United States vs. Susan B. Anthony Regarding a Woman's Right to Vote, The Outline of History, Volumes I and II by H.G. Wells, Discovering Japanese Classical Literature, Gina and Frank - A Brief Conversation With Strangers,  Masculinette and Femininique: The Lyric Poetry of John Keats, The Oscar Wilde Story, Ghost Dance Prophets From Wovoka to Nelson Mandela, and Musings: Selected Writings 1978-2018.

4 References

[1] "Philip Dossick." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2014. Contemporary Authors Online. Web. 11 July 2016. Full-text: BIOGRAPHY

Detroit: Gale, 2014.  Word Count: 432.

[2] The New York Times, Friday May 11, 1973.

[3] Boyum, Joy Gould. “On film: Cinema verite’s Orwellian aspect” Wall Street journal

(May 4, 1973), p. 10.

[4] Kirkus Reviews Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1977 Publisher: Viking

[5] The Pittsburgh Press April 15, 1979.

[6] David Susskind – A Televised Life By Stephen Battaglio. pg. 366 © 2010 St Martins press.

Further Reading

Ÿ Jeremy M. Devine Vietnam at 24 Frames per Second Pages 93-94. (Texas Film Studies Series, Thomas Schatz Editor.)

Ÿ “P.O.W., The” Motion picture guide (edited by Jay Robert Nash and Stanley Ralph

 Ross) Chicago : Cinebooks, 1985. (v. 6, p. 2442)

Gruner, E. G. (Elliot G.). “The P.O.W.” Vietnam war feature filmography (1992) [GB] (p. 307) and Vietnam war films [GB] (Entry 463)

Gilbert Adair, Vietnam on Film, page 110 (Proteus Publishing)

External links

Ÿ Philip Dossick IMDB profile:




Description: Philip Dossick. Seattle,  August 2015.