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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580054943
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580054942
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Charming . . . New York's pull is evident throughout."
The New York Times

"The hip, witty, and sometimes heartbreaking essays in Goodbye to All That get to the bottom of most Big Apple miseries: big dreams cost big bucks to maintain. As many of these writers figured out, sometimes losing New York City is the only way to regain your credit rating, rent-stabilized living spaces, and sanity. From candid to kooky to classic, this collection sheds the love, light, and lyricism the gritty city deserves."
Susan Shapiro, author of Speed Shrinking and Five Men Who Broke My Heart

"New York City is like a lover who left you for the slightly younger, prettier girl: you can smell him, taste him, yearn to have him back in your life. All the stories in this collection recall that lover and his many faults, and then make you forget them, all over again."
Martha Frankel, author of Hats & Eyeglasses and executive director of the Woodstock Writers Festival

"Of course it would take more than one woman to capture the mythic, ever-shifting, exhilarating, and disappointing beast that is New York. The chorus of voices that is Goodbye to All That sings the city—both of the pavement and of the mind—to life, over and over."
Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

“Twenty-eight of today’s most extraordinary, diverse, uniformly interesting women writers revisit the eternal story of devotion and departure . . . An exquisite read.”
Maria Popova, founder of Brain Pickings

"The book's premise alone hooked most everyone I know who has even a passing fascination with living in the Big Apple—or fleeing it for other parts."
DailyCandy

"[Gets] at the sense of hope (or ambition) with which New York seduces us, as well as how living in the city can turn, leaving us with wistfulness and regret."
Los Angeles Times

"Seriously impressive."
xoJane

"Speaks to every New Yorker, but more than that, it speaks to anyone who has loved and fallen out of love with a city."
AOL Recommends

About the Author

Sari Botton is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the "New York Times, New York Magazine, The Sun, The Village Voice, Harper's Bazaar, More, Marie Claire, WWD, W, The Rumpus, Memoirville, This Recording, " xoJane.com, assorted anthologies, and other publications. She studied English and journalism at SUNY Albany, where years later she was an adjunct professor of undergraduate journalism. She also taught first-person essay writing at SUNY Ulster. Sari is the editorial director of the TMI Project, a non-profit organization that holds true storytelling workshops in jails, shelters, veterans' hospitals, schools, and other places where people don't usually get to tell their stories or be heard.

More About the Author

I'm a writer and editor who, in 2005, left New York City for upstate New York. My work has appeared in many newspapers, magazines, and anthologies, including The New York Times, The Village Voice, Harper's Bazaar, WWD/W, Marie Claire, New York, and many others. I have a column on TheRumpus.net

Customer Reviews

As I hope to read this book.
Santiago Lafcadio
Now, thanks to Sari Botton, there are 28 wonderful essays written by a talented group of writers on just this subject.
Leslie B. Knowlton
The essays are an interesting mix of styles and perspectives.
LGT

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lulubell on October 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a former New Yorker who left for the sunnier skies of LA eight years ago, I thoroughly related to and loved this book. I savored each essay, reading only a few each night, so that I could enjoy the book longer. What's funny is that when I left, I thought I was the only one who'd experienced the weird combination of exhilaration and freedom with nostalgia and doubt. Little did I know how many others not only felt the same, but could articulate it a heck of a lot better.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on November 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a surprisingly dull collection. As mentioned elsewhere, there is a sameness to the essays, a disappointing homogeneity in the selection of writers (all of them women of about the same age, who tried to be writers, and sort of made it and sort of didn't, who moved, many of them, upstate). Rarely does a writer here manage to capture the genuine essence, the harshest truth, of what it means -- what it FEELS like -- to struggle and compete in New York against a constant, oncoming tide, and then fail at it. It can be a bulldozing experience, mixed with the most heightened elation when it's working. Nothing feels like succeeding in New York, nothing feels as crushing as the illusion when it drops away. But no one captured that truth in this book. (EDIT: Except, I should mention, Rebecca Wolff -- whose anger at the betrayal of the city's promises, and its shoddy evolution, feels palpable. And she was born there!) It takes a certain hubris to use "Goodbye To All That" as a title and then not even include Joan Didion's brilliant essay, which makes the others here read like something out of Elle or Marie Claire. Far too soft, too much about the financial cost of New York (there are so many other reasons why a life there can be defeated, and all of them more interesting than money). Kind of bummed that this wasn't better.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Francine Fleishman on October 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the stories in Good Bye to All of That touching and well written.The whole book is crisply edited and a joy to read.The personal nature of these short stories is very compelling making it hard to put the book down.Thank you
, Sari Botton and your team of writers for such a good read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steamchef on November 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's nice, for a change, to see an anthology in which women authors make up more than 7 percent of the contributors. That said, and unless I'm mistaken, ALL these contributors are women. Which is fine, but it would have been good to bring in a few men's perspectives on loving and leaving New York. And -- again, unless I'm mistaken -- most of these contributors seem to be about the same age and from approximately the same demographic. Not against any literary laws, but it's an editorial choice that creates a certain monotony across the essays.

On the one hand, I want to congratulate Sari Botton, the volume editor, for getting this project organized and wrangled into print. That's a real accomplishment. On the other hand, the book reads like the product of one of those ads that turn up in the "Poets & Writers" classifieds, where the prospective editors of a prospective anthology solicit contributions on a particular topic. For all I know, that's exactly how this book came about.

The book is a conscious (and sometimes cloyingly self-conscious) homage to Joan Didion's essay "Goodbye to All That." Didion's essay stands alone as an exemplar of the loving-and-leaving-NYC genre and is in no need of this or any other kind of homage, so it's hard to understand why the world needed this book.

Nevertheless, it does offer some mildly enjoyable reading along with a lot of "meh."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Leslie B. Knowlton on October 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Two years ago, when I was facing leaving New York City to go live full-time with my husband across the Hudson River, I tried to find a book just like this to help me with that difficult decision. I really wondered: What would life be AFTER New York? Now, thanks to Sari Botton, there are 28 wonderful essays written by a talented group of writers on just this subject. Here are perspectives of people who were born there, and those who moved there looking for some dream. Some left and eventually returned, others were happy in their new lives elsewhere. All were incredibly illuminating. I highly recommend this book for anyone who ever loved (or hated) New York, anyone thinking of moving there. You'll end up feeling like you've made 28 new friends.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By steforado on October 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
Thank you, Sari Botton, for compiling these wonderful and compelling essays. I really enjoyed the varied writing styles and perspectives. The common threads echoed many of the reasons that I chose to leave NYC almost 20 years ago as my father reminded me that "Everything begins and ends in New York. Why leave??". Each passage also elicited memories of my high school years, trekking into the city via the LIRR to hit the clubs, thinking that my big-haired, rhinestone-belted bridge and tunnel posse blended in with the trannies and club kids so much older and more city savvy than us. But, most of all, I enjoyed the deeply honest and candid coming-of-age stories about goals and dreams that come face to face with reality. I admire all of these women for going for it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Gottlieb on October 3, 2013
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Loved reading this book~ Especially since I love and left New York :)
The editor of the book did an exceptional job.
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