Cold Type

Overview

Harvey Araton writes, with keen insight, of a time when power was ebbing fast from both newspapers and their unions. It’s an especially bittersweet tale he tells of the people who had grown up in newspapers and unions, as they struggle to adapt to this evolving new order. And, of course, what makes this even more evocative, is that we’re still trying to sort this all out. — Frank Deford, author of Everybody’s All-American, NPR commentator

"Father and son face their demons, each other, and a depressingly realistic...

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Cold Type

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Overview

Harvey Araton writes, with keen insight, of a time when power was ebbing fast from both newspapers and their unions. It’s an especially bittersweet tale he tells of the people who had grown up in newspapers and unions, as they struggle to adapt to this evolving new order. And, of course, what makes this even more evocative, is that we’re still trying to sort this all out. — Frank Deford, author of Everybody’s All-American, NPR commentator

"Father and son face their demons, each other, and a depressingly realistic publisher in a newspaper yarn that made me yell "Hold the Front Page" for Harvey Araton's rousing debut as a novelist." — Robert Lipsyte, author of An Accidental Sportswriter

In times of change, American novelists return to old themes. In Cold Type—as in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman—a son and his father struggle to hold onto what they think is right. It's mid-1990s; and "cold type" technology, a.k.a. computerized typesetting, wreaks havoc among workers in the newspaper industry. A fabulously wealthy Briton buys the New York City Trib and immediately refuses to negotiate with the truck drivers' union. In solidarity, all the other blue collar unions take to the streets. Jamie Kramer is a reporter for the Trib. His father is a hardcore shop steward (unusual for a Jew in Irish-dominated unions) from the old day of "hot type," but who has become a typographer in a world he doesn't understand. His father expects Jamie not to cross the picket line. It would be an act of supreme disrespect. But that's not so easy for Jamie. His marriage has fallen apart, he desperately needs his paycheck for child support, and he needs to make his own life outside the shadow of his father.

Harvey Araton is a celebrated sports reporter and columnist for the New York Times. He authored the New York Times best-seller Driving Mr. Yogi: Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry, and Baseball's Greatest Gift; plus When the Garden Was Eden: Clyde, the Captain, Dollar Bill, and the Glory Days of the New York Knicks. Araton also finds time to serve as adjunct professor in sports writing at Montclair State University in New Jersey where he lives.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
07/14/2014
Against the backdrop of a fictional newspaper strike in 1994, Pulitzer Prize-nominated reporter Araton's (Driving Mr. Yogi) novel explores the decline of unions as the the business of news changed, and even the relationships between fathers and sons separated generationally and by class. When New York City's blue collar paper, the Tribune, is bought by a conservative Englishman, he institutes policies designed to force a drivers' strike, which in turn leads to strikes among other unionized workers at the paper. Jamie Kramer comes from a pro-union family and his father, Morris, shop steward for the paper's printers, expects that Jamie will not cross the picket line. But the decision for the journeyman reporter supporting an ex-wife and toddler isn't so easy, particularly when his former wife may move to Seattle with their son to help start an online bookstore. The author uses Jamie's and his father's estrangement to explore scarred family dynamics and the historically ugly blue collar and union mentality on race. Jamie and his little boy, on the other hand, are pure love; the toddler's baby-talk is sweet rather than cloying. The narrative itself is less interesting than its parts, though the denouemont is clever and hopeful. (July)
From the Publisher
"Harvey Araton writes, with keen insight, of a time when power was ebbing fast from both newspapers and their unions. It’s an especially bittersweet tale he tells of the people who had grown up in newspapers and unions, as they struggle to adapt to this evolving new order. And, of course, what makes this even more evocative, is that we’re still trying to sort this all out." — Frank Deford, author of Everybody’s All-American, NPR commentator

"Father and son face their demons, each other, and a depressingly realistic publisher in a newspaper yarn that made me yell "Hold the Front Page" for Harvey Araton's rousing debut as a novelist." — Robert Lipsyte, author of An Accidental Sportswriter

"I’ve been waiting almost 25 years for something good to come of the Daily News strike. Now it has. But this wonderful novel captures more than a time and a place. Harvey Araton deftly turns the picket line into a metaphor for other divides, for those that separate journalism and commerce, heroes and goats, and most of all, fathers and sons. Cold Type is a love song to the real New York." — Mark Kriegel, author of Namath

"A gripping narrative and an insightful take on family, work, what loyalty means—and what it costs. Harvey Araton is a skilled writer who knows his way around the milieus he travels in this novel, whether it’s a newsroom, a labor hall or a living room. But what really makes this worth reading is the heart you can feel beating underneath it all." — Brad Parks, author of The Player

"Fans of Harvey Araton’s lively, engaging prose will love this vivid and heartfelt exploration of what it means to be a journalist, a son, a father, and a man." — Pamela Redmond Satran, author of Younger

"New York Times writer and columnist Araton knows newspapers and knows New York, and in his seventh book (and first novel), he explores clashes more personal, more searing, more universal than any of the sports stories he's told before. Cold Type is a tale about collisions: between generations, between classes, between different crafts in a rapidly changing economy, between the past and the future, between father and son." — Kirkus Reviews

"Memorable and likable characters dominate this realistic and very enjoyable novel … a sort of old-fashioned novel, offering a social portrait and a really rich story. Kudos to Mr Araton and Cinco Puntos Press, of El Paso, Texas, for writing and publishing this worthy novel … I’m going to be recommending Cold Type for weeks." — The Great Gray Bridge

Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-01
A story about a newspaper, a family, a strike, and social and economic change—sketched against the backdrop of New York in the 1990s. New York Times writer and columnist Araton knows newspapers and knows New York, and in his seventh book (and first novel), he explores clashes more personal, more searing, more universal than any of the sports stories he's told before. Cold Type is a tale about collisions: between generations, between classes, between different crafts in a rapidly changing economy, between the past and the future, between father and son. These are collisions that no one wanted and that no one could avoid. They break the rules, they break apart families, they create heartbreak. They are as ancient as the hills and as current as today's news—and the existential crisis that surrounds today's newspapers. By crossing a picket line that includes his father, a hard-boiled shop steward, the reporter Jamie Kramer crosses a moral line, as well—and the book's action and its interest revolve around what happens on both sides of those two lines. Tensions rise with the unions out on strike, but management and union defectors ensure that copies of the paper are out on the street. Before long, union workers drift back to their jobs—setting up one of the freshest surprise endings of the stale genre of the newspaper novel.A novel with a strong whiff of the New York Daily News strike of 1990-1991—and with ominous foreshadowings of what the protagonist describes as "this internet thing everybody's talking about.''
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935955719
  • Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/2014
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Harvey Araton, a celebrated sports columnist for The New York Times authored the New York Times best-selling Driving Mr. Yogi about the famous catcher's relationship with pitcher Ron Guidry, and When the Garden Was Eden: Clyde, the Captain, Dollar Bill, and the Glory Days of the New York Knicks (one reviewer said Araton writes like Earl the Pearl Monroe played basketball). Cold Type is Araton's first novel. Besides his duties as columnist for the Times, he's an Adjunct Professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey where he lives.

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