My Ears Are Bent by Joseph Mitchell

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As a young newspaper reporter in 1930s New York, Joseph Mitchell interviewed fan dancers, street evangelists, voodoo conjurers, not to mention a lady boxer who also happened to be a countess. Mitchell haunted parts of the city now vanished: the fish market, burlesque houses, tenement neighborhoods, and storefront churches. Whether he wrote about a singing first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers or a nudist who does a reverse striptease, Mitchell brilliantly illuminated the humanity in the oddest New Yorkers.

These pieces, written primarily for The World-Telegram and The Herald Tribune, highlight his abundant gifts of empathy and observation, and give us the full-bodied picture of the famed New Yorker writer Mitchell would become.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Joseph Mitchell

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Joseph Mitchell came to New York City on October 25, 1929 (the day after the stock-market crash), from a small farming town called Fairmont, in the swamp country of southeastern North Carolina. He was twenty-one years old and looking for a job as a newspaper reporter. He eventually managed to find work as an apprentice crime reporter at Police Headquarters for The World. He was a reporter and feature writer—for The World, The Herald Tribune, and The World-Telegram—for eight years, and then went to The New Yorker, where he remained until his death, on May 24, 1996, at the age of eighty-seven. Aside from writing, Mr. Mitchell’s interests included the waterfront of New York City, commercial fishing, gypsies, Southern agriculture, Irish
Published November 24, 2010 by Vintage. 324 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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He proves his contention that the most interesting people, so far as talk is concerned, are ""anthropologists, farmers, prostitutes, psychiatrists, and an occasional bartender."" He presents a collection of idiosyncrasies, quite a gallery -- strip teasers, ballon dancers, Sally Rand, Negro reviva...

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Publishers Weekly

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"I don't think anything could be as much fun as to get a good hold on a pompous person and shake him or her until you can hear the false teeth rattling," says New Yorker cartoonist Peter Arno to journalist Mitchell in a World-Telegram profile from the 1930s, but the sentiment could be applied t...

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Entertainment Weekly

Before he crafted nonfiction classics for The New Yorker, and before he contracted journalism's nastiest case of writer's block, Mitchell was a newspaper reporter poking around noirish nooks of New York City.

Jul 13 2001 | Read Full Review of My Ears Are Bent

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