New York holds a special place in America's national mythology as both the gateway to the USA and as a diverse, vibrant cultural center distinct from the rest of the nation. From the international atmosphere of the Dutch colony New Amsterdam, through the expansion of the city in the nineteenth century, to its unique appeal to artists and writers in the twentieth, New York has given its writers a unique perspective on American culture. This Companion explores the range of writing and performance in the city, celebrating Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Edith Wharton, Eugene O'Neill, and Allen Ginsberg among a host of authors who have contributed to the city's rich literary and cultural history. Illustrated and featuring a chronology and guide to further reading, this book is the ideal guide for students of American literature as well as for all who love New York and its writers.
• Explores and celebrates writers in the city and the portrayal of the city in literature • Aimed at students of American literature as well as all those interested in New York literature • Includes illustrations, a chronology and guide to further reading
Chronology; Introduction Cyrus R. K. Patell; 1. From British outpost to American metropolis Robert Lawson-Peebles; 2. Dutch New York from Irving to Wharton Elizabeth L. Bradley; 3. The city on stage Bryan Waterman; 4. Melville, at sea in the city Thomas Augst; 5. Whitman's urbanism Lytle Shaw; 6. The early literature of New York's moneyed class Caleb Crain; 7. Writing Brooklyn Martha Nadell; 8. New York and the novel of manners Sarah Wilson; 9. Immigrants, politics and the popular cultures of tolerance Eric Homberger; 10. Performing Greenwich Village bohemianism Melissa Bradshaw; 11. African American literary movements Thulani Davis; 12. New York's cultures of print Trysh Travis; 13. From poetry to punk in the East Village Daniel Kane; 14. Staging lesbian and gay New York Robin Bernstein; 15. Emergent ethnic literatures Cyrus R. K. Patell; Epilogue: Nostalgia and counter-nostalgia in New York City writing Bryan Waterman; Guide to further reading.