Literary Brooklyn by Evan Hughes
The Writers of Brooklyn and the Story of American City Life

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Synopsis

For the first time, here is Brooklyn's story through the eyes of its greatest storytellers.


Like Paris in the twenties or postwar Greenwich Village, Brooklyn today is experiencing an extraordinary cultural boom. In recent years, writers of all stripes--from Jhumpa Lahiri, Jennifer Egan, and Colson Whitehead to Nicole Krauss and Jonathan Safran Foer--have flocked to its patchwork of distinctive neighborhoods. But as literary critic and journalist Evan Hughes reveals, the rich literary life now flourishing in Brooklyn is part of a larger, fascinating history. With a dynamic mix of literary biography and urban history, Hughes takes us on a tour of Brooklyn past and present and reveals that hiding in Walt Whitman's Fort Greene Park, Hart Crane's Brooklyn Bridge, the raw Williamsburg of Henry Miller's youth, Truman Capote's famed house on Willow Street, and the contested streets of Jonathan Lethem's Boerum Hill is the story of more than a century of life in America's cities.


Literary Brooklyn is a prismatic investigation into a rich literary inheritance, but most of all it's a deep look into the beloved borough, a place as diverse and captivating as the people who walk its streets and write its stories.

 

About Evan Hughes

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Evan Hughes has written articles about literature for such publications as The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, n + 1, and the London Review of Books. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 
Published August 16, 2011 by Holt Paperbacks. 352 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Literary Brooklyn

Kirkus Reviews

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Elegantly, the author slides in and out of eras, identifying the sometimes surprising geographical and spiritual connections among an impressive list of writers: Norman Mailer, Bernard Malamud, Norman Podhoretz, Alfred Kazin, William Styron, Arthur Miller, Paul Auster, Truman Capote, Jonathan Saf...

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The New York Times

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He lingers over how Whitman set the poems that would make up “Leaves of Grass” at a local print shop, and refers to this as “the 19th-century equivalent of self-publishing out of a Kinko’s.” He studies a famous lithograph of Whitman that ran in “Leaves of Grass” and notes how the author ...

Aug 16 2011 | Read Full Review of Literary Brooklyn: The Writer...

The New York Times

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Despite his efforts to tell, through Brooklyn, “the story of American city life,” Hughes might have been happy with a less grand aim.

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Publishers Weekly

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According to freelance journalist and critic Hughes, the one experience Brooklyn writers share is living just outside "the colossal, churning center of the metropolis," thus providing a "revealing window onto the broader history of American urban life."

Jun 06 2011 | Read Full Review of Literary Brooklyn: The Writer...

Los Angeles Times

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Evan Hughes provides facts and solid literary critique about a borough's literary lions, who include Norman Mailer, Thomas Wolfe, Truman Capote, Walt Whitman and many more.

Sep 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Literary Brooklyn: The Writer...

Christian Science Monitor

“For the first time I am leading a life which remotely approximates to the way I think I ought to live.” Skip to next paragraph Buy this book from:

Sep 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Literary Brooklyn: The Writer...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

"There is no 'Brooklyn School' of literature and there never has been," writes Evan Hughes in his deeply researched and appealingly conversational new book Literary Brooklyn: The Writers of Brooklyn and the Story of American City Life.

Sep 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Literary Brooklyn: The Writer...

California Literary Review

And I say it is as great to be a woman as to be a man.” The atmosphere was then charged with anti-slavery talk, given the presence of fiery Henry Ward Beecher (Harriet Beecher Stowe’s brother) in a Brooklyn pulpit, and though the poet was hardly a churchgoer, he “became Whitman’s favorite ministe...

Nov 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Literary Brooklyn: The Writer...

The [TK] Review

Jonathan Lethem, one of Brooklyn’s Brooklyniest bards, famously described his native borough thus: “Brooklyn is repulsive with novelists, it’s cancerous with novelists.” Evan Hughes’s recent book Literary Brooklyn: The Writers of Brooklyn and the Story of American City Life (Holt, $16) reminds u...

Dec 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Literary Brooklyn: The Writer...

Reader Rating for Literary Brooklyn
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