New York: A Literary Visit

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This six-book tour offers something for everyone, whether you’re a born and bred New Yorker or hail from somewhere less metropolitan. Take a stroll down the streets of 1948 Manhattan with E.B. White, who penned not only children’s classics like Charlotte’s Web but Here is New York, a much-loved ode to the city. Edith Wharton’s sharp investigations of the cracks in the stately veneer of the old upper class lay New York bare as only a native can, and The New York Stories of Edith Wharton collects the twenty finest stories from across her career. A brilliant collection of portraits of contemporary life, The New York Stories of Elizabeth Hardwick likewise showcases a luminary at the height of her powers.

In Iris Owens’s bitingly funny breakup novel After Claude, Harriet refuses to move on, even after her ex has her evicted from his Greenwich Village apartment. But at the historic Chelsea Hotel, she unexpectedly finds a strange kind of salvation. Millen Brand’s tender The Outward Room follows another young woman named Harriet as she makes her own journey towards self-discovery, fleeing the mental hospital, hopping a train to New York, and finding the will to live and love again. Meanwhile, L.J. Davis’s A Meaningful Life is a black comedy tracing a different sort of madness. Lowell Lake, a failed writer, is determined to renovate a crumbling Brooklyn mansion, whatever the cost—to his finances, to his marriage, or to human life.