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Central Park: An Anthology Paperback – April 24, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608196003
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608196005
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #708,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A delectable collection! Central Park turns out to be more than trees and grass and paths; rather, a touchstone of Memory and Imagination." —Cynthia Ozick

"[A] sprightly new collection… Central Park is now a dazzling reincarnation of the Edenic landscape Olmsted and Vaux envisioned more than a century and a half ago. No matter how much the park has changed… it radiates for many of the writers here a sense of timelessness and constancy: It remains a kind of memory portal to the past, a Proustian time machine." —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"I loved this book. Central Park is a very special place for all of us who have lived in NYC for any length of time, or who grew up here—anyone who considers NYC their spiritual if not physical home."  —Roz Chast

"To read these reminiscences is to be struck by the role of the park not just as a compensatory blast of nature, quiet, calm and oxygen in a city with too little of all them, but also as a jointly savored event, a common currency, something possessed by everyone but owned by no one." —Frank Bruni, NYTimes.com

"Reading these wonderful short essays will ignite the hot season within your head, no matter what the weather’s like outside."—The Daily Beast 

“All of the contributions, from humorous to deeply moving, are worth reading, with descriptions and insights that will be treasured by anyone intrigued by Central Park, no matter their own familiarity.  This volume gives readers a sense of why the park engenders such deep emotions and wonderment in those who enjoy it.” —Library Journal

 “As varied and inviting as its namesake. Take it to the nearest spot of green, spread a blanket, and enjoy.”  —Barnes & Noble Review

 

 


 

About the Author

Andrew Blauner is the founder of Blauner Books Literary Agency. He is the editor of two previous anthologies, Coach, with over fifty thousand copies sold, and Brothers, a finalist for the Books for a Better Life Award. He is also the co-editor of Anatomy of Baseball. Blauner graduated from Collegiate School, Brown University and Columbia Business School, and he is a member of PEN and the National Book Critics Circle. He grew up, and has lived most of his life, within two blocks of Central Park.Adrian Benepe has worked for more than thirty-two years protecting and enhancing New York City's natural and historic beauty. He has continued this effort as commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2002.

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Customer Reviews

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A Well Informed Artist Appreciates the detail in Central Park Anthology.
Donald J. Doyle
Not surprisingly, many of them harken back to childhood memories of the park...especially places like the Central Park Zoo.
Jon Hunt
This is a small book with 12 tales of Central Park, all by writers that have lived in New York.
wogan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jon Hunt on July 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The gem of Manhattan is without a doubt, Central Park, and this anthology, edited by Andrew Blauner, is terrific. The vignettes offered by a wide range of authors provide a rich detail to what lies inside the walls of the park. Not surprisingly, many of them harken back to childhood memories of the park...especially places like the Central Park Zoo. In fact, many of them speak of the animals in the park, both caged and uncaged. All however, remind us of a time not so long ago (the 1960s and 1970s) when Central Park had fallen into disrepair and had become a dangerous place. Thankfully, those times have been turned around.

It's easy to fall in love with the animals. Ben Dolnick speaks of a favorite goat, Newman, that he used to tend. Susan Cheever's yak symbolized forbearance. And then there was the British "birder", Donald Knowler, who recorded dozens of bird species over a cold winter, mugged not only by humans but also squirrels. Some of the authors came from wealthy families and used the park for sports and mischievous refuge. The one contribution that really caught my eye was Paul Auster's "Fogg in the Park" which really captures the essence of danger, generosity and adventure all at the same time as he struggled to get by in the confines of the park as a "resident" for a while.

Strolling through Central Park is a lovely way to escape the bustle of the surrounding streets but these chapters mark reminders of what it is like to get to know the park. It's a wonderful collection and I highly recommend it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 100 REVIEWER on June 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a small book with 12 tales of Central Park, all by writers that have lived in New York. There is an introduction by Adrian Benepe, the commissioner of New York's Department of Parks and Recreation. He along with most of the other authors remember Central Park as a haven, and in many years one that was dangerous, dirty and run down. Most of the accounts also present the reassuring story of the Park's resurgence. There is a universal rejoicing at the rebirth of the Park from what it had been in the 70's.

Too many of the authors write "back then", or "in my childhood", or "years ago". It would be better and much more informative if we had more information to know when back then was. There is also a section in the back of the book with a description of each individual writer. It would allow for a better understanding of what had been written if the author's information was inserted with their story.

This is an interesting collection, especially for those of us that know Central Park, either as a visitor or a city resident and even those who have a fondness for the city itself and what this green space has meant to its citizens.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donald J. Doyle on August 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A Well Informed Artist Appreciates the detail in Central Park Anthology.
Central Park:An Anthology was a gift to my artist granddaughter, Sarah Long, who lives in New York City, just off Central Park.
She has carried the book with her during travels and opens conversations with strangers at City lunch counters and coffee shops, and they are amazed at the insights and understanding she has about The City and never-ending scenes she can sketch and paint.
Donn Doyle, The Villages, Florida.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary Lavers on July 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
Central Park is a collection of short stories and essays about one of New York's most famous locations (you guessed it--Central Park). For those of us not from New York, Central Park is an iconic landmark, the uncredited extra cast member in Woody Allen movies and Law & Order episodes. But for New Yorkers, it is so much more, as this collection makes clear. It is, as editor Andrew Blauner points out, the paradox of New York City, the calming green space in the midst of one of the world's most bustling cities, the point that "divides...separating East Side from West Side...but also unites...somehow simultaneously defines and defies the city."

Central Park contains short stories from famous authors, as well as essays from New York City Parks officials. One story of note is "The Sixth Borough" by Jonathan Safran Foer, a version of which appears in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. The fable of the sixth borough was one my favourite part of that novel, so I was delighted to see it included in this anthology.

For more reviews, please visit my blog, CozyLittleBookJournal.

Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
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