A wild night outdoors with Bill Buford. A football tradition with Nathaniel Rich. A jog around the reservoir with Mark Helprin as he "protects" Jacqueline Onassis from imagined harm. The 843 carefully planned acres of Central Park have not only crept into the hearts of its 38 million annual visitors, but also into the life and work of a diverse array of writers who come to revel in its natural remedy for urban chaos.
In Central Park, a dozen exclusive pieces commissioned especially for this book are accompanied by a handful of beloved classics. Francine Prose reflects on open-air performances by Nina Simone and James Brown; Jonathan Safran Foer writes a creation myth of the park; Buzz Bissinger meditates on how the park defined his early life; and Marie Winn definitively answers Holden Caulfield's question of where the ducks go when the ponds freeze over.
This vibrant collection presents Central Park in all its diverse glory, with an ode on every page to a fifty-one-block swath of special New York magic. A must-read for the thousands who consider the park their own, and a keepsake for the many more who visit, it will be a standard for years to come.
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About the Author
Andrew Blauner is the founder of Blauner Books Literary Agency. He is the editor of two previous anthologies, Coach, with over fifty thousand copies sold, and Brothers, a finalist for the Books for a Better Life Award. He is also the co-editor of Anatomy of Baseball. Blauner graduated from Collegiate School, Brown University and Columbia Business School, and he is a member of PEN and the National Book Critics Circle. He grew up, and has lived most of his life, within two blocks of Central Park.
Adrian Benepe has worked for more than thirty-two years protecting and enhancing New York City's natural and historic beauty. He has continued this effort as commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2002.
Table of Contents
Introduction Adrian Benepe 1
The Meadow John Burnham 14
Goodnight Moon Schwartz BenDolnick 26
Through the Children's Gate Adam Gopnik 38
Framed in Silver Mark Helprin 45
Carp in the Park David Michaelis 53
The Colossus of New York Colson Whitehead 64
Some Music in the Park Francine Prose 72
The Sixth Borough Jonathan Safran Foer 79
Squawkeye and Gang on the Dendur Plateau Nathaniel Rich 88
Fogg in the Park Paul Auster 97
Sunday in the Park with Mother Susan Sheehan 110
Negative Space Thomas Beller 119
The Hidden Life Alec Wilkinson 136
My Little Bit of Country Susan Cheever 145
The Falconer of Central Park Donald Knowler 153
About Those Ducks, Holden Marie Winn 169
Lions and Tigers and Bears Bill Buford 174
Beastie Brooks Hansen 188
The Goodbye Buzz Bissinger 201
Epilogue Doug Blonsky 211
Editor's Note 215
About the Contributors 217
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If interested in learning the numerous experiences behind NYC's Central Park or just looking for a good read, Central Park is a great anthology for readers everywhere. Filled with both joy and sadness, this anthology is sure to find a special place in the hearts of frequent Park visitors and prospective visitors alike.