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My Town: Writers on American Cities

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My Town: Writers on American Cities
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Information Programs, 2010. — 82 p. ISBN (ePub) 978-1-622-39892-8.
The Poetry of Bridges by David Bottoms
Good Old Baltimore by Jonathan Yardley
Ghosts by Carlo Rotella
Chicago Aquamarine by Stuart Dybek
Houston: Experimental City by Fritz Lanham
Dreamland by Jonathan Kellerman
Sleepwalking in Memphis by Steve Stern
Miami, Home at Last by Edna Buchanan
Seeing New Orleans by Richard Ford and Kristina Ford
Son of Brooklyn by Pete Hamill
A Writer’s Capital by Thomas Mallon
More than three-quarters of Americans live in cities. In our globalized era, it is tempting to imagine that urban experiences have a quality of sameness: skyscrapers, subways and chain stores; a density of bricks and humanity; a sense of urgency and striving. The essays in this collection make clear how wrong that assumption would be: from the dreamland of Jonathan Kellerman’s Los Angeles to the vibrant awakening of Edna Buchanan’s Miami; from the mid-century tenements of Pete Hamill’s beloved Brooklyn to the haunted viaducts of Stuart Dybek’s Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago; from the natural beauty and human diversity of Charles Johnson’s Seattle to the past and present myths of Richard Ford’s New Orleans, these reminiscences and musings conjure for us the richness and strangeness of any individual’s urban life, the way that our imaginations and identities and literary histories are intertwined in a city’s streets and buildings, in its smells and sounds.
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