LITERARY NEW YORK: A History and Guide by Susan & Linda D. Cirino Edmiston

LITERARY NEW YORK: A History and Guide

Email this review


Leisurely saunters through the byways, brownstones, and watering-places of Greater Gotham letters--from Walt Whitman's Battery haunts to the 145th Street middens of Claude Brown's Manchild in the Promised Land, with token excursions to the boroughs. In a loose way this neighborhood-by-neighborhood safari furnishes something close to an urban literary history. One can follow the northward advance of the city from lower Manhattan (where the Federalist papers first saw the light of day) to bucolic Greenwich Village (genteel, then bohemian, then upper bourgeois) and what is now the midtown publishing district. The Lower East Side received the great turn-of-the-century Eastern European immigrations which later spawned their own northern posterity in the form of the Upper West Side (currently housing Bellow, Heller, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and a gaggle of Commentary and New York Review luminaries). As for Harlem, it was a thriving literary center (Countee Cullen and the Twenties ""Renaissance"") decades before it became the national emblem of urban hurt and deprivation. Edmiston and Cirino dispense an informal mixture of history, geography, gossip, and comment; each chapter provides a browser's armchair Baedeker and several suggested itineraries for more ambitious pilgrims.

Pub Date: May 26th, 1976
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin