Here is New York [NOOK Book]

Overview

In the summer of 1948, E.B. White sat in a New York City hotel room and, sweltering in the heat, wrote a remarkable pristine essay, Here is New York. Perceptive, funny, and nostalgic, the author’s stroll around Manhattan—with the reader arm-in-arm—remains the quintessential love letter to the city, written by one of America’s foremost literary figures. Here is New York has been chosen by The New York Times as one of the ten best books ever written about the city. The New Yorker calls...
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Here is New York

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Overview

In the summer of 1948, E.B. White sat in a New York City hotel room and, sweltering in the heat, wrote a remarkable pristine essay, Here is New York. Perceptive, funny, and nostalgic, the author’s stroll around Manhattan—with the reader arm-in-arm—remains the quintessential love letter to the city, written by one of America’s foremost literary figures. Here is New York has been chosen by The New York Times as one of the ten best books ever written about the city. The New Yorker calls it “the wittiest essay, and one of the most perceptive, ever done on the city.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590174791
  • Publisher: New York Review Books
  • Publication date: 3/30/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 58
  • Sales rank: 219,970
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

“Thoroughly American and utterly beautiful” is how William Shawn, his editor at the New Yorker, described E. B. White’s prose. At the magazine, White developed a pure and plain-spoken literary style; his writing was characterized by wit, sophistication, optimism, and moral steadfastness. In 1978 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the body of his work. E. B. White died in 1985

Roger Angell is a writer and fiction editor at the New Yorker.

Biography

"Style is even more important in children's books than in those for adults,” said the New York Times reviewer of Stuart Little, E.B. White's first book for children, in 1954. White -- an essayist whose elegant, deceptively simple writings for Harper's and The New Yorker had garnered him national acclaim -- may have seemed an unlikely children’s book author, but Stuart Little proved that good writing (and style) could translate to any genre, even to books for readers too young to enjoy his Talk of the Town pieces.

White had in fact been writing ever since he was a child, growing up in the "leafy suburbs" of Mount Vernon, New York. "I fell in love with the sound of an early typewriter and have been stuck with it ever since," he said later. After graduating from Cornell University in 1921, he tried to turn his facility with words into some form of gainful employment, but found advertising too dull and news reporting too taxing. Finally the Seattle Times asked him to create a small daily column of brief anecdotes and light verse, and White joined Mark Twain in the pantheon of American newspaper humorists.

In 1926, a fledgling publication called The New Yorker offered him a job on its staff. There, he helped create the signature style of clear, elegant writing with which the magazine would thereafter be associated. In New York he befriended writers like James Thurber and Dorothy Parker, and met the woman who was to become his wife, the literary editor Katharine Sergeant Angell.

White's second literary career, as a writer of children's books, had its origins in a dream of a little boy like a mouse, "all complete, with his hat, his cane, and his brisk manner." He began to make up stories about this dapper character to please his nephews and nieces, and eventually organized the Stuart Little stories into a book, which was published to high acclaim in 1945, and made into a feature film in 1999.

The barn of White's farmhouse in Maine provided the inspiration for a second children's book, Charlotte's Web (1952). This fable about a heroic spider and her efforts to save a pig from slaughter was even more successful than Stuart Little. "As a piece of work it is just about perfect," wrote Eudora Welty in The New York Times, and millions of readers agreed. Charlotte's Web was still high on the bestseller lists in 1970, when it was joined by White's third and final book for children, The Trumpet of the Swan.

White produced another bestseller in 1959, when he revised and expanded a little handbook of grammar and usage written by his late teacher at Cornell, William Strunk, Jr. Now familiar to generations of college students as Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, the book made a wise and witty case for what White called "clearness, accuracy and brevity in the use of English."

White's assessment of his own writing was a characteristic mix of humility and grandeur: "All that I ever hope to say in books is that I love the world. I guess you can find that in there, if you dig around."

Good To Know

Galleys of Stuart Little were sent to Anne Carroll Moore, who was head of children's books at the New York Public Library. Moore hated it. "To her it was nonaffirmative, inconclusive, unfit for children, and she felt it would harm its author if published," said White's editor, Ursula Nordstrom. She fired off a letter to White’s wife, and then made her case to Nordstrom -- who went ahead and published anyway.

After Stuart Little was released, White received a great deal of praise for the book, as well as some unusual criticism: "Then three fellows turned up claiming that their name was Stuart Little, and what was I going to do about that?" he wrote. "One of them told me he had begun work on a children's story: The hero was a rat and the rat's name was E. B. White."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Elwyn Brooks White (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 11, 1899
    2. Place of Birth:
      Mount Vernon, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      October 1, 1985
    2. Place of Death:
      North Brooklin, Maine

Read an Excerpt

….Mass hysteria is a terrible force, yet New Yorkers seems always to escape it by some tiny margin: they sit in stalled subways without claustrophobia, they extricate themselves from panic situations by some lucky wisecrack, they meet confusion and congestion with patience and grit—a sort of perpetual muddling through. Every facility is inadequate—the hospitals and schools and playgrounds are overcrowded, the express highways are feverish, the unimproved highways and bridges are bottlenecks; there is not enough air and not enough light, and there is usually either too much heat or too little. But the city makes up for its hazards and deficiencies by supplying its citizens with massive doses of a supplementary vitamin—the sense of belonging to something unique, cosmopolitan, mighty and unparalleled.Manhattan has been compelled to expand skyward because of the absence of any other direction in which to grow. This, more than any other thing, is responsible for its physical majesty. It is to the nation what the white church spire is to the village—the visible symbol of aspiration and faith, the white plume saying that the way is up. The summer traveler swings in over Hell Gate Bridge and from the window of his sleeping car as it glides above the pigeon lofts and back yards of Queens looks southwest to where the morning light first strikes the steel peaks of midtown, and he sees its upward thrust unmistakable: the great walls and towers rising, the smoke rising, the heat not yet rising, the hopes and ferments of so many awakening millions rising—this vigorous spear that presses heaven hard. New York is nothing like Paris; it is nothing like London; and it is not Spokane multiplied by sixty, or Detroit multiplied by four. It is by all odds the loftiest of cities…
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2004

    Compact and Beautiful like NYC

    Prompted by his son-in-law to return to New York City to write a magazine article, E.B. White wound up writing one of the most elegant, compact and poignant books on the subject. And although White rhapsodized about the New York of youth, and was a little saddened by the New York he was revisiting in the mid-40s, there is no doubting his love and fascination with Gotham. His descriptions of a walk through The Park in the evening, the sounds of ships' horns in the distance, and the comings and goings of commuters are especially provocative. One of the central theses of this little tome is that so much of the destinies of New Yorkers are measured in inches. He describes how everyday New Yorkers can wind up inches away from a celebrity at a luncheonette, and that at any time you can be as close to or as distant from any significant event or person. He describes the fate of one New Yorker who was crushed by a falling piece of masonry from an old building. If that person had been six inches away in any direction on the sidewalk, that person would've gone on living. A matter of inches. And so it is with this slender volume, which is not even a half- inch thick. And yet it, like the crowded little island of Manhattan, is filled with so much richness, humanity, and life that it draws you in like a supermagnet. And only E.B. White could have pulled off something as beautiful as this book. Buy it, read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    It is not worth the price.

    This "book" clearly is not worth the money charged for it. It is an essay rather than a book, and the first third to half of it is an introduction.

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  • Posted April 28, 2009

    A great essay about New York. A pricey little volume.

    It's a nice essay.
    Not entirely relevant, but noteworthy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2007

    An Excellent Book to Read

    Here is New York is a beautifully written description of New York City as it was in the late 40's. E.B. White writes how the city is forever changing yet stays the same, how residents can live within the grand metropolis and yet never venture past a few blocks. He captures the essence and the spirit of New York City with a keen perception of what is ironic, what is interesting, what is beloved.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2002

    He saw the World Trade Towers Fall before they were built

    The most beautiful essay on New York and what New York is. But the last pages will rip your heart out and start a flood of tears.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 1999

    Gift of Privacy

    This incredible essay leaves one with the same feeling you experienced as a child discovering one more Christmas present tucked away behind the tree - it suddenly becomes all yours - brilliant!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2011

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    Posted November 6, 2009

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    Posted December 15, 2008

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    Posted December 8, 2009

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    Posted November 5, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2010

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