Synopses & Reviews
Welcome to Ian Frazier's New York, a city more downtown than up, where every block is an event, and where the denizens are larger than life. Meet landlord extraordinaire Zvi Hugo Segal, and the man who climbed the World Trade Center, and an eighty-three-year-old typewriter repairman whose shop on Fulton Street has drawers full of umlauts. Learn the location of Manhattan's antipodes, and meander the length of Route 3 to New Jersey.
Like his literary forbears Joseph Mitchell and A.J. Liebling, Frazier, in his bewitching, inimitable voice, makes us fall in love with America's greatest city all over again, the way he did, arriving as a young man from Hudson, Ohio. In classic evocations of the F train, Canal Street, and Prospect Park, Brooklyn, and in his iconic "Bags in Trees" essay, Frazier gives us New York again, in all its vital and human multiplicity.
"Frazier (Great Plains) chronicles his relationship with New York City in this collection of essays from the New Yorker, the Atlantic and elsewhere. Kincaid's foreword celebrates her friend's identification with Ohio, but despite the formative importance of his hometown and state, Frazier clearly develops a particular, fond attachment to all the places he comes to know. His essays pile up sensory detail, personalities, stories and history, creating a patina of personal meaning. Whether it's Canal Street in a grittier time, the bus route he takes to his current home in New Jersey or the roundabout way he made it to New York in the first place, Frazier creates a sense of place and of the way people interact with it: a memorial grows up and disintegrates at the site of a fatal shooting; a repairman embodies the history of typewriters; he himself becomes obsessed with removing bags stuck in trees. Some sense of New York is probably necessary to enjoy this collection, but whether one's knowledge is great or slight, Frazier's evocation of the city over three decades is thoughtful, entertaining and occasionally moving, and his own journey from the Midwest to Manhattan, Brooklyn and eventually New Jersey will resonate for many readers." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"America's greatest essayist."--Los Angeles Times
"These essays are classics of [the] genre. . . . Throughout Frazier writes with such charm, such self-deprecating introspection, we wish that we . . . could claim him as a friend."--The Boston Globe
"One of the best writers in America. Absorbed by people and their stories, endlessly curious, graced with an exquisite ear for the way people speak, addicted to dry humor, and unpretentious, he has become a master craftsman in the odd and lovely art of collecting and telling stories of American life."--The Oregonian
"Frazier has a keen eye for the vagaries of urban life."--Time Out New York
"[A] pleasing, humorous, but also keenly trenchant collection . . . freely mix[es] the ugly with the sublime, and the scary with the fascinating and the funny . . . It's also a lovely read."--The Christian Science Monitor
"A delight to follow on the page . . . And don't let the emphasis on New York City fool you. Frazier is one of us."--Chicago Sun-Times
"This is New York on a human level. Frazier obviously likes people; his empathy comes through."--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"The Big Apple never feels so small as when Ian Frazier writes about it."--Continental magazine.
Welcome to Ian Frazier's New York, a city more downtown than up, where every block is an event, and where the denizens are larger than life. His bewitching, inimitable voice, makes readers fall in love with America's greatest city all over again.
Welcome to Ian Frazier's New York, where every block is an event, and where the denizens are larger than life. Meet landlord extraordinaire Zvi Hugo Segal, and the man who scaled the World Trade Center. Learn the location of Manhattan's antipodes, and meander the length of Route 3 to New Jersey. Like his literary forebears Joseph Mitchell and A. J. Liebling, Frazier makes us fall in love with America's greatest city all over again.
About the Author
is the author of Great Plains, On the Rez
, and Dating Your Mom
, among other works, all published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. A frequent contributor to The New Yorker
, he lives in Montclair, New Jersey.