A Walker in the City

A Walker in the City

by Alfred Kazin
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A Walker in the City by Alfred Kazin

A literary icon’s “singular and beautiful” memoir of growing up as a first-generation Jewish American in Brownsville, Brooklyn (The New Yorker).
A classic portrait of immigrant life in the early decades of the twentieth century, A Walker in the City is a tour of tenements, subways, and synagogues—but also a universal story of the desires and fears we experience as we try to leave our small, familiar neighborhoods for something new.
With vivid imagery and sensual detail—the smell of half-sour pickles, the dry rattle of newspapers, the women in their shapeless flowered housedresses—Alfred Kazin recounts his boyhood walks through this working-class community, and his eventual foray across the river to “the city,” the mysterious, compelling Manhattan, where treasures like the New York Public Library and the Metropolitan Museum beckoned. Eventually, he would travel even farther, building a life around books and language and literature and exploring all that the world had to offer.
“The whole texture, color, and sound of life in this tenement realm . . . is revealed as tapestried, as dazzling, as full of lush and varied richness as an Arabian bazaar.” —The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547546360
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 03/19/1969
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 596,360
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Alfred Kazin (June 5, 1915–June 5, 1998) was an American writer and literary critic, many of whose writings depicted the immigrant experience in early twentieth century America. Kazin is regarded as one of “The New York Intellectuals,” and like many other members of this group he was born in Brooklyn and attended the City College of New York. However, his politics were more moderate than most of the New York intellectuals, many of whom were socialists. He wrote out of a great passion—or great disgust—for what he was reading and embedded his opinions in a deep knowledge of history, both literary history and politics and culture. He was a friend of the political theorist Hannah Arendt. In 1996 he was awarded the first Truman Capote Lifetime Achievement Award for literary criticism.

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A Walker in the City 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The journey from Brooklyn to Manhattan appears on any map to be measurable in mere miles. But when considered as passage from a daily struggle for rent, dinner and a somnabulant few hours of mass entertainment across the bridge to cosmopolitan engagement with art, politics and history, it defies quantification. The Web has made this whimsical book utterly metaphorical; all to the good, I think.
DenBur More than 1 year ago
I think it was a very unusual book but readable and an insight into NY at the beginning of the last century. What life was like and how people lived back then what
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They are so listed as being in mags and rewritten they are very dated for the n.y. of his childhoid had street gas lights ill are very tiny