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The colossus of New York : a city in thirteen parts

by Whitehead, Colson, 1969-

Format: Print Book 2003
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 3 of 3 copies
Available (3)
Location Collection Call #
Baldwin Borough Library Learning and Career 818.5 WHI
Location  Baldwin Borough Library
Collection  Learning and Career
Call Number  818.5 WHI
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction F128.55.W54 2003
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  F128.55.W54 2003
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction F128.55.W54 2003
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  F128.55.W54 2003
In a dazzlingly original work of nonfiction, the award-winning novelist Colson Whitehead re-creates the exuberance, the chaos, the promise, and the heartbreak of New York. Here is a literary love song that will entrance anyone who has lived in--or spent time--in the greatest of American cities. A masterful evocation of the city that never sleeps,The Colossus of New Yorkcaptures the city's inner and outer landscapes in a series of vignettes, meditations, and personal memories. Colson Whitehead conveys with almost uncanny immediacy the feelings and thoughts of longtime residents and of newcomers who dream of making it their home; of those who have conquered its challenges; and of those who struggle against its cruelties. Whitehead's style is as multilayered and multifarious as New York itself: Switching from third person, to first person, to second person, he weaves individual voices into a jazzy musical composition that perfectly reflects the way we experience the city. There is a funny, knowing riff on what it feels like to arrive in New York for the first time; a lyrical meditation on how the city is transformed by an unexpected rain shower; and a wry look at the ferocious battle that is commuting. The plaintive notes of the lonely and dispossessed resound in one passage, while another captures those magical moments when the city seems to be talking directly to you, inviting you to become one with its rhythms. The Colossus of New Yorkis a remarkable portrait of life in the big city. Ambitious in scope, gemlike in its details, it is at once an unparalleled tribute to New York and the ideal introduction to one of the most exciting writers working today.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Lovers of adventurous literary fiction relished Whitehead's novels, The Intuitionist (1998) and ohn Henry Days (2001), recognizing him as an original, sardonic, yet compassionate writer. Anointed with a MacArthur genius grant, Whitehead now presents a ravishing cycle of imaginative and evocative prose poems in tribute to his home, New York City, the quintessential metropolis of dreams. Writing in short, emphatic sentences, Whitehead riffs poignantly and playfully on myriad strategies for urban survival as he incisively distills the kaleidoscopic frenzy of the city into startlingly vital metaphors and cartoon-crisp analogies. Intensely sensory in his details, wistful and funny in his psychological disclosures, he makes everything come to mythic life, from the fury of rush hour to the strained etiquette of subway riders to Central Park, Times Square, Coney Island, and the Brooklyn Bridge. The mad choreography a rainstorm puts into motion, the rituals of downtown nightclubs, the horrors of the 9-to-5 routine, the waxing and waning of the self against the backdrop of so many other souls are all given a sharp, metaphysical twist in Whitehead's gorgeous rendering of New York as a colossal, ever-metamorphosing phantasm. --Donna Seaman Copyright 2003 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Whitehead (The Intuitionist; John Henry Days) lays out a wildly creative view of New York City. To out-of-towners, Gotham is about famous places, but Whitehead's New York is not. It's more about a way of seeing. For example, "No matter how long you have been here, you are a New Yorker the first time you say, That used to be Munsey's, or That used to be the Tic Toc Lounge... when what was there before is more real and solid than what is here now." Whitehead begins with the bus ride into Port Authority, complete with impossibly heavy baggage, bathrooms braved by only the desperate and the seating strategies of experienced bus riders. He cuts to city feelings: the morning's garbage truck noises; the problem of rain; coping with rush hour. When he does write of celebrated places-Central Park, Coney Island, the Brooklyn Bridge-it's for the role they play in our ritual life: when we go, how we are when we're there and how it feels to leave. Whitehead is a master of the minutiae of the mundane. He takes you to the moment of a subway train leaving without you: could you have made it if you'd left a few seconds earlier? Should you take a taxi? You check the tunnel for the next train, fusing with thoughts of time as new passengers accumulate on the platform. This 13-part lyric symphony is like E.B. White's Here Is New York set to the beat of Ellington or Cage. (On sale Oct. 21) Forecast: Although the book probably won't sell well nationally, local radio promotion could help it become a hit in New York. Some of Whitehead's best passages are excellent read-aloud material and could be easily excerpted. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Whitehead, Colson, -- 1969- -- Homes and haunts -- New York (State) -- New York.
New York (N.Y.) -- Description and travel.
New York (N.Y.) -- Social life and customs.
Publisher New York :Doubleday,2003
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description 158 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
ISBN 0385507941
Other Classic View