What do Francine Prose, Suketu Mehta, and Edwidge Danticat have in common? Each suffers from an incurable love affair with the Big Apple, and each contributed to the canon of writing New York has inspired by way of the New York Times City Section, a part of the paper that once defined Sunday afternoon leisure for the denizens of the five boroughs. Former City Section editor Constance Rosenblum has again culled a diverse cast of voices that brought to vivid life our metropolis through those pages in this follow-up to the publication New York Stories (2005).
The fifty essays in More New York Stories unite the city’s best-known writers to provide a window to the bustle and richness of city life. As with the previous collection, many of the contributors need no introduction, among them Kevin Baker, Laura Shaine Cunningham, Dorothy Gallagher, Colin Harrison, Frances Kiernan, Nathaniel Rich, Jonathan Rosen, Christopher Sorrentino, and Robert Sullivan; they are among the most eloquent observers of our urban life. Others are relative newcomers. But all are voices worth listening to, and the result is a comprehensive and entertaining picture of New York in all its many guises.
The section on “Characters’’ offers a bouquet of indelible profiles. The section on “Places”takes us on journeys to some of the city’s quintessential locales. “Rituals, Rhythms, and Ruminations” seeks to capture the city’s peculiar texture, and the section called “Excavating the Past” offers slices of the city’s endlessly fascinating history.
Delightful for dipping into and a great companion for anyone planning a trip, this collection is both a heart-warming introduction to the human side of New York and a reminder to life-long New Yorkers of the reasons we call the city home.