Subscribe to our newsletter
Picture of Literature of New York

Literature of New York

Editor(s): Sabrina Fuchs-Abrams
Contributors: Sonia Baelo-Allue, Jonathon E. Readey, Michael Angelo Tata, Mark Noonan, Jessica Maucione, Heidi E. Bollinger,

Book Description

Literature of New York is the first collection of critical essays to look at historical and contemporary images of New York through an examination of works of literature by New York writers about New York. New York City is a study in contradictions; it offers at once a sense of possibility, cultivation, self-realization and a fear of corruption, decay, and despair. The literature of New York is representative of American national identity and of the unique nature of the metropolitan, urban experience.

The essays are arranged chronologically to reflect the changing significance of the city in relation to various movements in American literary and cultural history. It includes essays on the relation of urban public space to various editions of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass; the theme of surveillance in the literature of New York by Herman Melville, Edith Wharton, and Ann Petry; fear of the cultural Other within modern New York in Henry James’ "The Jolly Corner"; use of the setting of New York City to emphasize both the dynamic energy and increasing anxiety of the modern American cityscape in Dos Passos' Manhattan Transfer (1925); the satiric portrayal of New York society in the 1920s and 30s in Dorothy Parker's recently collected stories and sketches; the response to post-WWII New York City in fictionalized autobiography in the personal narratives of Audre Lorde and Diane di Prima; the poetics of second generation New York School poet Ted Berrigan in relation to his predecessors; the representation of New York in postmodern fiction, depicting at once a sense of loss at the inability to return to the old neighborhood of the past in Don DeLillo's Cosmopolis and the possibility of reasserting order and meaning amidst the chaos and terror of post-911 New York in Jay McInerney’s The Good Life (2006). Whether expressing nostalgia for the past, hope for the future, fear of the unknown, or the possibility of self-actualization, the literature of New York continues to draw inspiration from its locale and is as complex, contradictory, and creative as the City itself.

Contributors include Karen Karbiener, Mark James Noonan, Jonathan Readey, Heidi E. Bollinger, Sabrina Fuchs-Abrams, Kirsten Bartholomew Ortega, Michael Angelo Tata, Jessica Maucione, and Sonia Baelo-Allué.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-1242-9
ISBN-10: 1-4438-1242-0
Date of Publication: 01/09/2009
Pages / Size: 199 / A5
Price: £34.99


Sabrina Fuchs-Abrams is an Assistant Professor of English at SUNY, Empire State College. She is the author of Mary McCarthy: Gender, Politics, and the Postwar Intellectual and of several articles on women intellectuals, including Susan Sontag, Diana Trilling, Mary McCarthy, and Hannah Arendt. She is currently working on a study of female satirists in twentieth-century America.