Title: New York Stories
Writer: Edited by Diana Secker Tesdell
Publishing House: Everyman’s Library
Date of Publication: January 4th 2011
Rating: 5 stars
‘’The houses across the street were silent and perhaps unoccupied at this time of day; she let her eyes move with the rhythm of the tune, from window to window along one floor. By gliding quickly across two windows, she could make one line of the tune fit one floor of windows, and then a quick breath and a drop down to the next floor; it had the same number of windows and the tune had the same number of beats and then th next floor and the next. She stopped suddenly when it seemed to her that the windowsill she had just passed had soundlessly crumpled and fallen into fine sand; when she looked back it was there as before but then it seemed to be the windowsill above and to the right, and finally a corner of the roof.’’
Shirley Jackson, Pillar of Salt
New York. Forget about the city that never sleeps, the lights, the socialites, the glorious hotels and skyscrapers and whatnot. New York is the people that populate it, the stories that characterise every corner of the metropolis, the amalgamation of feelings and experiences that have created its atmosphere, its breath, its aura and the way it fascinates us. This is the heart of the beautiful collection dedicated to New York.
New York Nite Club by Jack Kerouac: The unique atmosphere of a New York club.
The Making of a New Yorker by O.Henry: The aspirations of a poet in the city of modern Art.
O City of Broken Dreams by John Cheever: A married couple travels to New York, prompted by a job opportunity. But the Big Apple has decided differently.
Pillar of Salt by Shirley Jackson: A young couple goes to New York for a two-week vacation. The experience appears exciting at first but soon, it becomes more and more uncanny, chaotic and claustrophobic. A masterpiece by Jackson.
Paul’s Case by Willa Carther: The troubles of a high-school student.
Master Misery by Truman Capote: A young woman has come to New York to follow her dream. She meets a sympathetic clown and realises that her happiness depends on a strange figure that thwarts your dreams. A deeply sad allegory by a master of the Short Story.
A Cup of Gold by Edith Wharton: A story of fateful meetings, love, propriety. Many of us first ‘’met’’ the literary New York through Wharton’s novel The Age of Innocence and this one is a bright example of her unique style.
The Magic Barrell by Bernard Malamud: A young rabbi wants to marry and only the ideal woman will do. But this is a rather difficult task.
Social Error by Damon Rinyan: A story straight out the Guys and Dolls universe and a unique era in the history of the city.
Theft by Katherine Anne Porter: Prompted by a simple theft, the heroine of the story realises all she has lost. Loves, journeys, wasted moments, words left unsaid.
The Thistles in Sweden by William Maxwell: A beautiful, peaceful story about the daily life of a neighbourhood of brownstones and quirky families.
A Snowy Night on West Forty-Ninth Street by Maeve Brennan: The unique atmosphere of Broadway lights on a winter’s night as a woman becomes our guide to the strange, vacant would-be members of the high-class society and the nightly New York that watches silently.
Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin: A moving story of the rift between two brothers, the loss of a child, the daily fight in an unforgiving world.
Children Are Bored on Sunday by Jean Stafford: A tender story of Art, feud and young love.
It’s Six A.M. Do You Know Where You Are by Jay McInerney: An enigmatic story about a man stranded in a bar at an unlikely hour. A tale of confusion, trauma and disillusionment.
New York Day Women by Edwidge Danticat: A story about motherly rules and the very complex relationship between a family and a ferocious city.
Reference #388475848 – 5 by Amy Hempel: A letter of protest over a parking ticket becomes the means for a woman to pour out her soul and give voice to her repressed thoughts.
Negocios by Junot Diaz: The tumultuous story of an immigrant through the eyes of his son.
‘’I want what is fair. I don’t want a fight. But the truth is I’m shaking – right now, writing this letter. My hand is shaking while I write. It’s saying what I can’t say – this is the way I say it.’’