Thursday, April 1, 2021

Top 10 books about New York

Craig Taylor is the author, most recently, of New Yorkers: A City and Its People in Our Time.

His other books include Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now—As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It, Return to Akenfield, and One Million Tiny Plays About Britain, which began life as a column in the Guardian newspaper.

At the Guardian Taylor tagged ten of his favorite books about New York. One title on the list:
The Odd Woman and the City by Vivian Gornick

In her memoir, Gornick describes New York as a “fabled context for the creation myth of the young man of genius arriving in the world capital … where he will at last be recognised for the heroic figure he knows himself to be”. Unsurprisingly, these men are still here, often transplants, braying about their authentic New York experience. Gornick wants none of it: “Not my city at all.” Her New York is populated by “the eternal groundlings who wander these mean and marvellous streets in search of a self reflected back in the eye of a stranger.” Although Gornick grew up in the Bronx, she considers herself a pilgrim to the city. When she finally moved to Manhattan she experienced what most of us yearn for on arrival. “I could taste in my mouth world, sheer world.”
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue