The Painted Bird is a novel by Jerzy Kosiński, first published in 1965. It tells the story of a young boy who becomes separated from his family during World War II and must fend for himself as he wanders through a series of small towns in Eastern Europe. The novel is notable for its graphic portrayal of violence and its bleak, depressing atmosphere.
Overall, The Painted Bird has received mixed reviews. While some critics have praised its powerful depiction of the horrors of war, others have criticized its nihilistic portrayal of humanity and the questionable accuracy of its portrayal of Eastern European life during the war. The novel has also been the subject of controversy due to allegations that Kosiński may have fabricated parts of his personal history, including his experiences during the war.