Literary Landscapes: New York (Hardcover)
A beautiful photographic stroll around the bookshops, restaurants, literary locations and authors' neighbourhoods in the Big Apple.
Literary Landscapes: New York is the follow-up to Literary Landscapes: Paris and contains a familiar blend of everything precious to the bibliophile - a blend of quirky bookstores, authors' favourite bars, storied hotels, grand libraries, on- and off-Broadway theatres which launched major plays, New York residences and literary locations, such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art - described in Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence.
For beloved bookstores there is the Argosy, dating to 1925 and the oldest in Manhattan, Three Lives & Company in West Village, The Strand in East Village, The Corner Bookstore on the Upper East Side, the Alabaster Bookshop, and, stretching across to Brooklyn, the Greenlight Bookstore.
LLNYC takes in Sardi's - birthplace of the Tony; the Algonquin Hotel, notorious home of the Round Table and Dorothy Parker's acidic assassins; The Odeon (restaurant) made famous by Jay McInerny's Bright Lights Big City; Pete's Tavern with O. Henry's writing seat, and the White Horse Tavern, Dylan Thomas's last night out in the Big Apple and a pub frequented by Norman Mailer, Jack Kerouac, Anais Nin, Frank McCourt and Bob Zimmerman.
New York is blessed with There are the grand public libraries such as the Beaux-Arts New York Public Library, the Morgan Library and across the East River, the magnificent Art Deco Brooklyn Public Library.
When it comes to hotels, The Plaza appears in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, but it is the Chelsea Hotel that has the most literary resonance. Mark Twain stayed there, Arthur Miller wrote there, as did Arthur C. Clarke and Simone de Beauvoir.
Literary locations abound for New York from Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote to Washington Square by Henry James. Stuart Little (E.B. White) sailed his boat on the lake in Central Park while the Bethesda Fountain was central to Tony Kushner's Angels in America.
The book takes a short trip up Long Island to visit Walt Whitman's birthplace and while nothing but plaques remain of the New York homes that Herman Melville knew, we visit the literary giants buried alongside Melville in Woodlawn Cemetery including Damon Runyan and Joseph Pullitzer.
All these chapters are interspersed with telling quotes about the city that never sleeps.
"Every man seems to feel that he has got the duties of two lifetimes to accomplish in one, and so he rushes, rushes, rushes, and never has time to be companionable - never has any time at his disposal to fool away on matters which do not involve dollars and duty and business."
Mark Twain, 1867