“Smart…[Hughes] has perceptive things to say about Brooklyn’s tangled relationship to American lit. He traces the way writers have absorbed Brooklyn’s scruffy, somewhat persecuted mindset...Literary Brooklyn is at its best in the details and quotations Mr. Hughes plucks from Brooklyn writers’ lives; his book becomes a pleasure-delivery system.”—The New York Times
"Highbrow" and "Brilliant”—New York Magazine's Approval Matrix
"One of the many fine points in Literary Brooklyn; The Writers of Brooklyn and the Story of American City Life is that for decades writers wanted to escape Brooklyn for the glamour of Manhattan—it was one definition of success—and now they want to go the other direction, not just because of what's happening now but because of all the history."—Portland Oregonian
"If you've ever lived in Brooklyn, this book will make you see your experience in an entirely different and mythic light. And if you're thinking about moving to Brooklyn, this book will make it hard not to rent the U-Haul. Evan Hughes has written an incredibly engaging and thoughtful history of how Brooklyn became the heart of America's most literary city. I stayed up way too late getting to the last page."—Tom Bissell, author of Extra Lives and The Father of All Things
“It seems Evan Hughes has read every book by —or about — every writer who's ever so much as stepped into the borough. Did you know that as young men just beginning to write, Norman Mailer and Arthur Miller lived in the same brownstone, and occasionally eyed each other while getting the mail? Literary Brooklyn is immensely readable, hugely informative, and thoroughly enjoyable. Once here, you won't want to leave.”—Charles Bock, author of Beautiful Children
"Whether you love Brooklyn from afar or live there, you know it's a critical part of America's artistic heart. In Literary Brooklyn, Evan Hughes tells a moving and important story you haven't heard and shows us how and why literature will continue to thrive in the American city." —Touré, author of Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?
“A well-researched urban history book and a comprehensive literary biography that brims with fresh insights.”—Booklist
“A hybrid of urban history and literary biography and analysis, this engrossing, perceptive book makes a valid case for the richness of Brooklyn as a site of the literary imagination.”—Publishers Weekly
"Wonderfully illuminating...Hughes charts this tumultuous, two-century urban history through the lives and works of important writers who, for their own reasons and for a time at least, called Brooklyn home. Elegantly, the author slides in and out of eras, identifying the sometimes surprising geographical and spiritual connections among an impressive list of writers...Whether they used it as subject, setting, or inspiration, saw it as a refuge, hideout or merely as a patch of relative green convenient to Manhattan, these writers are part of a rich artistic procession Hughes brings vividly to life." —Kirkus Reviews
Evan Hughes has written articles about literature for such publications as The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, n + 1, and the London Review of Books. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
It's interesting to know the way famous writers had lived in Brooklin.
For me it would be great if there were maps or illustrations showing
the places where they lived... Read more
Walt Whitman, not being born in Brooklyn, was no Brooklynite. The majority of the authors, past and present, in this wreck of a work are carpetbaggers who have no place in the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Chris Roberts
Urban connections is a theme that runs through the mini-biographies that make up this interesting but flawed literary history. Read morePublished 24 months ago by James Henderson
Hughes' book is a fun portrait of the lives of Brooklyn authors. The anecdotes, quotes and descriptions of the authors' characters make it seem like we as readers are there along... Read morePublished on May 21, 2012 by Susanna Zaraysky
This book is for anyone who cares about literary history and/or the evolution of American cities. One chapter may feature a single writer, the next a cluster of writers with... Read morePublished on September 25, 2011 by Smitty