- Paperback: 264 pages
- Publisher: Astor & Lenox (November 1, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0986058270
- ISBN-13: 978-0986058271
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,680,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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New York: Stories Paperback – November 1, 2017
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"This gem of a collection by Terence Clarke celebrates the art, passions, and people of New York City. After a brief, sweet look at inadvertent eavesdropping on mass transit and the kindness of strangers in 'Everyone in L.A.,' Clarke begins in earnest with 'The High Line.' He uses this uniquely New York landmark as the linchpin of connections between the robustly American New York and the New York that is a microcosm of the world. Art, too, fills these pages, ranging from the delicious but simple culinary creations in 'The Sandwich' to abstract sculpture in 'Thank You, Pierre-Auguste.' There are no weak stories here." --Publishers Weekly
"Terence Clarke's collection of short stories will delight New York aficionados, wherever they live. Clarke captures the beat of New York City life, with its special flavor, history, and variety. I especially liked the picture of goats grazing on the elevated tracks before they became The High Line."
--Marilyn Yalom, author of Compelled to Witness: Women's Memoirs of the French Revolution and How the French Invented Love
About the Author
Terence Clarke lives in San Francisco. He is the co-founder and director of publishing at Astor & Lenox. His previous books include the novels The King of Rumah Nadai, My Father In The Night, A Kiss for Señor Guevara, and The Notorious Dream of Jesús Lázaro. He has written three story collections...The Day Nothing Happened, Little Bridget and The Flames of Hell, and New York. Clarke's new novel, The Splendid City, with the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda as its central character, will be published in early 2019.
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Reviewing short stories is a challenge – at times when reading them the book requests a pause to reflect or a time to recover from the message or entertainment. His first story hints at what is to come. Titled EVERYONE IN L.A. it opens thus – ‘Pat, a many times unpublished novelist, descended the steps to the Canal Street station. How can they just keep me there like that? he asked himself. He had been in the office since seven the previous morning, a Manhattan branding firm famous for putting California start-ups on the map and preparing the websites and marketing for major IPOs. A few of the skinny, Levi’s-clad employees at those now publicly traded companies were in their mid-twenties and had come into, Pat knew, millions of dollars. They rode scooters up hallways rather than walked, having put a very small percentage of their stock option fortunes to work at the Amazon.com scooter store. Pat preferred walking, and was doing so just now, headed home at 1:22 a.m. Because he worked for the branding firm and not the start-ups, Pat wasn’t one of these nouveaux riches. Wealth evaded him. Nonetheless, like his clients, he wore a pair of slim-cuffed jeans, a cowboy shirt hanging out over his belt—red with white stripes over a white T-shirt—and a very cool black wool porkpie that a former girlfriend (a marketing manager at MTV) had bought for him at Arnold Hatters on Eighth Avenue, the day it had closed a year ago. He loved the hat. Even more, he enjoyed the cobalt blue corduroy sport jacket he was wearing, from the Kmart on West Thirty-fourth. Sixty-five bucks. Quite in keeping with Pat’s tastes. Although he was a marketing writer for the branding firm, glistening across the surface of Pat’s talent was the understanding that such writing was—way down deep—not much. He knew that branding was important. Facebook, for example, was an iconic name, its presence immediately recognizable around the world because of that clever letter F logo. Apple, too, with that clever apple. But for Pat, Charles Dickens was more important, and Charles Dickens had never needed a branding firm.etc.’
Terence adds a postscript at books end that explains his electing to compose these stories – ‘“When I lived in New York City, I learned that about eight hundred different languages are spoken there, from numberless immigrants and others who speak English as a second language. My previous fiction often features Americans living outside the United States, in circumstances in which a major portion of their difficulty is the fact that they don’t fit in, linguistically or culturally. That was a feature of my own early adulthood when I lived for a few years in Sarawak, Malaysia. I learned then that to be in a position in which I have to know about how these other people live, speak, feel, think, and treat each other is a true privilege. That understanding has been a major factor in all my writing. With regard to this particular story collection, it was also important for me to realize that New York City itself is its own foreign country.”
It is that sort of pungent peek into today’s tenor that makes his works so right. The stories are Everyone In L.A., The High Line, Blazes, Annie Cross, Andrea’s Hand, The Star Of David. Wilfredo’s Debussy, My Beautiful Francisco, The Three-Cornered Hat, War, The Sandwich, Bouquet, Thank You, Pierre-Auguste, and Into The Mystic. Each has its flavor and should be read at ease – little urban vignettes that capture the lives of the unique citizens of New York. Tasty and thoroughly entertaining, Terence Clarke can become addictive! Grady Harp, November 17