New York: The Novel

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  1. How the New York Novel Came to Overshadow the Great American Novel
  2. 31 Must-Read New York City Books | Penguin Random House
  3. Our Greatest Political Novelist?

Possibly New York had never yet been this interesting. Robinson vividly imagines everyday life in such a place.

During summer, future New Yorkers look down through the water to aquaculture pens, where fish churn; during winter, the canals freeze—temperatures in the future are more extreme—and people can go ice-skating, as long as they avoid the holes in the ice where harbor seals and muskrats come up for air. Robinson, who is sometimes described as our greatest living utopian writer, has spent most of his life in California. He was born in ; he holds a Ph.

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Dick, was the Marxist theorist Fredric Jameson. The term comes from the Mondragon Corporation, a real and vast Spanish company that is owned by its seventy-five thousand employees, who manage it and manufacture appliances, auto parts, and other goods.

How the New York Novel Came to Overshadow the Great American Novel

The rich are ensconced in their skyscrapers, but everyone else lives in some form of commune. The book is, among other things, a sustained critique of capitalism. The story of New York, after all, is that a bunch of people whom no one wanted created the coolest city in the world; eventually, their cultural capital was turned into real capital, sometimes by them, but often by outside investors. After the underwater-housing bubble bursts and a Sandy-like superstorm plunges the city into chaos, the plot turns on the question of whether the government will finally nationalize the banks.

In the end—in ways best left undescribed—the New Yorkers of the future stand up to the system and change it. Recommended Stories. Sign in.

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31 Must-Read New York City Books | Penguin Random House

Sometimes for better, other times for worse, the Big Apple is often as integral within a story as the characters themselves. Immersing oneself in a New York City book set in the ever-evolving landscape can be just as enriching as a history lesson when it comes to understanding a certain era of its colorful past. New York means so many different things to so many different people; for some, Gotham may be a far-off place, a symbol of urban culture to be romanticized or demonized. But, for those of us who live or have lived in the city, love-hate relationships as tempestuous as MTA delays and monthly utility bills run rampant.

Whatever New York means to you, though, it's still hard to resist being pulled in by the city's gritty allure, or ruminating over its patchwork quilt history without desiring a closer look. These 10 books from the past ten decades, beginning with the s, give us a glimpse into a point in time in the city that never sleeps.

Our Greatest Political Novelist?

A tale as unpredictable as an improvised sax solo, Toni Morrison's novel unfolds against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance , when music and artistic expression ruled the streets of Manhattan. Bristling with romantic drama and cultural tension, Jazz provides the perfect springboard for diving into New York City's own Roaring Twenties. Click here to buy.

Who knew dumpster diving could yield such treasure?


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When Lily Koppel uncovered a time-worn diary in the garbage of an Upper West Side apartment building, the writer was stunned to find it contained a veritable time capsule of s New York life told through the carefully documented daily journal of Florence Wolfson Howitt as she navigates Manhattan in her late teens and early 20s. Aside from giving us Holly Golightly, one of literature's most disarming protagonists, Truman Capote's iconic novella paints a fascinating portrait of society drama in WWII-era New York.