Joe Gould's Secret

Joe Gould's Secret

by Joseph Mitchell
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Joe Gould's Secret by Joseph Mitchell

Joseph Mitchell was a legendary New Yorker writer and the author of the national bestseller Up in the Old Hotel, in which these two pieces appeared. What Joseph Mitchell wrote about, principally, was New York. In Joe Gould, Mitchell found the perfect subject. And Joe Gould's Secret has become a legendary piece of New York history.

Joe Gould may have been the quintessential Greenwich Village bohemian. In 1916, he left behind patrician roots for a scrappy, hand-to-mouth existence: he wore ragtag clothes, slept in Bowery flophouses, and mooched food, drinks, and money off of friends and strangers. Thus he was able to devote his energies to writing "An Oral History of Our Time," which Gould said would constitute "the informal history of the shirt-sleeved multitude." But when Joe Gould died in 1957, the manuscript could not be found. Where had he hidden it? This is Joe Gould's Secret.

"[Mitchell is] one of our finest journalists."—Dawn Powell, The Washington Post

"What people say is history—Joe Gould was right about that—and history, when recorded by Mitchell, is literature."—The New Criterion

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375708046
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/28/1999
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 308,193
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.53(d)

About the Author

Joseph Mitchell came to New York City in 1929 from a small farming town called Fairmont, in the swamp country of southeastern North Carolina. He was twenty-one years old. He worked as a reporter and feature writer—for The World, The New York Herald Tribune, and The New York World-Telegram—for eight years, and then went to The New Yorker, where he worked off and on until his death in 1996.

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Joe Gould's Secret 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mitchell's classic piece of writing first appeared in part in the New Yorker magazine as a profile of one of the last "true" Bohemians still wandering Greenwich Village. The first part of the book is what appeared in the New Yorker, and the second half is a follow up about what happened to Joe Gould and more of Mitchell learned about him later. It's a poignant portrait of both Gould and the Greenwich Village that used to be-- as well as showing us how the mind of a great writer works. Fast read. Highly recommended.