Nate D's Reviews > Literary Brooklyn: The Writers of Brooklyn and the Story of American City Life

Literary Brooklyn by Evan Hughes
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's review
Jan 05, 12

it was ok
bookshelves: read-in-2011, non-fiction
Read in December, 2011

A gift! Thanks, parents! It's probably a sign that I need to catch up on my classics and cornerstones, but I've only actually read anything by a couple of the authors mentioned in here, Jonathan Lethem and Hubert Selby Jr. In general I'd typically rather read work by authors than read about them (unless its someone I'm already obsessed with like Anna Kavan), but that said, I totally learned a lot of useful Brooklyn history and general literary history, so this book was probably a good thing for me to read. And I totally want to read some Richard Wright and Carson McCullers now, and totally don't want to read any Henry Miller and Thomas Wolfe, so helpful here too. And it reminded me that I want to find Jane Bowles' single novel Two Serious Ladies, even though this focused more on her husband Paul, and even then only in passing.

Writing-wise, Hughes doesn't really surprise a lot, but the quality of his research is clear. I just wish he'd have gone into a little more depth in the areas I did have a little pre-existing interest in about: Selby Jr's couple pages didn't really go so far as even my anecdotal knowledge of him, and Lethem's bit was largely synopsizing of his two brooklyn novels. But I know more than I'll ever need to about Norman Mailler and Hart Crane!
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