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Living on the Edge of the World: New Jersey Writers Take On the Garden State Paperback – June 5, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (June 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743291603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743291606
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.5 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,185,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This collection proves that you can go home again, because when you are from New Jersey, you never really leave."
-- Mark Sceurman, Weird N.J.

"This funny, wistful, and appealingly oddball book covers more ground in New Jersey than the Turnpike. It's a fitting tribute to my beloved -- and deeply misunderstood -- home state."
-- Jancee Dunn, author of But Enough About Me...

About the Author

Irina Reyn is a fiction and nonfiction writer who divides her time between Pittsburgh and Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in anthologies and publications such as The Forward, San Francisco Chronicle, The Moscow Times, Nextbook and Post Road. Born in Moscow, Irina was raised in Fair Lawn, New Jersey.

More About the Author

From the June 15, 2010 broadcast of public radio's Writer's Almanac as read by Garrison Keillor: It's the birthday of folksinger and writer Christian Bauman, born in Easton, Pennsylvania (1970). He's the author of three widely praised novels, all published within the past decade: The Ice Beneath You (2002), Voodoo Lounge (2005), and In Hoboken (2008).

Though his mom was a doctor and his stepdad a philosophy professor, the boy didn't do well at academics. He barely graduated from high school and never went to college. He became a teenage father and worked as a cook, a clerk, a copy writer, and in all sorts of manual labor jobs. He painted houses, he spent a Philadelphia winter perched on scaffolding working on windows of a tall old school building, and he later watered plants at a corporate office, where he'd time his entry into the executive dining room so that he could help himself to the end of the lunch buffet.

He was 21, impoverished, in debt, without health insurance, and his young daughter needed an operation he couldn't afford. He began to pay attention to Army recruitment commercials. He said he joined the Army "for the same reason most people join the Army." He said, "I was young and poor. I had a child to support and no real job prospects. I wanted to escape. But what clinched it was when I found out the Army would pay for the operation my daughter needed."

He trained at Fort Eustis, in Virginia, where he was the only newly enlisted guy getting The New Yorker magazine. When he was shipped off to Somalia in 1992, he brought his typewriter along.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mombo on November 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is a series of short stories and most, if not all; will have autobiographical implications for those born and raised in the Garden State. Since each story has a different author, you have the experience of varying styles and perspectives.
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By Ed Battistella on October 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
The book captures the gritty charm of New Jersey, from the bogs of Cranbury, to Great Adventure and the shore to the condos of Jersey City. The stories are diverse both geographically and thematically and touching. There's loss--of the family farms and innocence--and the struggle to find one's place. And there is the usual cast of characters--the Jersey Devil, parents, siblings, mobsters, and people from across Lincoln Tunnel.

I passed along my copy to another NJ ex-pat.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joyce Ann Jacobs on December 17, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had heard this authors on the radio and was looking forward to reading the collection but I was somewhat disappointed in the quality of the essays.
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