New Yorkers: A City and Its People in Our Time

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$30.00  $27.90
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
4.7 X 11.0 X 1.3 inches | 1.6 pounds

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About the Author

Craig Taylor is the author of Return to Akenfield and One Million Tiny Plays About Britain, both of which have been adapted for the stage. He is also the editor of the literary magazine Five Dials. He lives in London.

A monumental and beautiful testimony to a city and to life itself. Joseph Mitchell, one of the great chroniclers of New York and whose work Taylor wonderfully continues, once profiled an unusual man named Joe Gould who said, more or less, that by overhearing the conversations of New Yorkers you could know the world and all its history. And this is what Craig Taylor has done: not just reveal a city, but the human spirit that lights the city; that spirit, which despite its flaws and madness, seems in the end to always wish to transform chaos and hatred into meaning and love.--Jonathan Ames, author of The Extra Man
Craig Taylor gets us. His sojourn in New York has resulted in a wonderful portrait of the city and its people, in good times and in bad, living, persevering, triumphant.--Kevin Baker, author of The Fall of a Great American City
An incredible achievement. Insightful, funny, surprising, profound, moving and honest. This could be the great American novel--and it isn't even a novel.--Joe Dunthorne, author of Submarine
Craig Taylor has conducted Gotham's voices into a gorgeous score...I've never heard New York sound this good, this in tune, despite its seas of trouble.--Leanne Shapton, author of Swimming Studies
As gorgeous, cacophonous, and shocking as New York itself. Like those great oral historians Studs Terkel and Ronald Blythe, Craig Taylor has the gift of drawing out the most idiosyncratic confidences, creating a magical, uproarious and sometimes terrifying portrait of life in the ultimate city.--Olivia Laing, author of Everybody
Jaw-dropping...enthralling...Start spreading the news: Taylor's book is a stunning work of modern social history.-- "Independent (UK)"
A beautifully woven tapestry.-- "Sunday Times (UK)"
A fine and fearless follow-up to Londoners--fine because it's so thoughtful and revealing, fearless because the author's method is to engage strangers in conversation that quickly becomes oral history...A compelling portrait of New York and a must-read for residents and visitors alike.-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"
An engrossing, multihued 'oral portrait' of New York City as told by the people who live there...Expertly edited and arranged, these striking snapshots make clear that in New York, 'the people are the texture.' Admirers of the Big Apple will be enthralled.-- "Publishers Weekly"
Monumental...Every decade or so, a book comes along to define an epoch in New York life: Joe Gould's Secret, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Power Broker, Random Family...Craig Taylor's New Yorkers is one of those. For those newly arrived to the city or long in love with it, New Yorkers belongs on the short shelf of required reading.--Garth Risk Hallberg, author of City on Fire
New York is nothing if not its people, and in New Yorkers Craig Taylor has given us their voices--wary and wise; insistent or sweet; fast and sage and sometimes oblique; impossible, often, to forget. This is a marvelous portrait of the city now, and bound to last.--Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, co-creator of Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas
A teeming oral history...[This] kaleidoscopic portrait captures the city's thrilling lexical diversity, as well as moments of grace, compassion, cruelty, and racism.-- "The New Yorker"
Books about N.Y.C. risk falling into sentimentality and redundancy, but Craig Taylor avoids both with this absorbing oral history, a collective portrait of the city's people (and speech patterns).--Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times
[New Yorkers] is a gift right now, when New York City is coming back from a pandemic winter...In New Yorkers the city is hopping, punching, reeling, dancing, thrumming, honking, thriving...Taylor's presence is felt between the lines; he is as skilled a writer of literary nonfiction as I have ever read.--Mary Norris, Times Literary Supplement (UK)
Thankfully, New Yorkers is not War and Peace, with its several hundred characters. Taylor culled and cut a lot. But among those who made it into New Yorkers, some are unforgettable...Taylor finds stories in the people who navigate the streets.--James Barron, New York Times Book Review
Ambitious and entertaining...Much of the pleasure of New Yorkers comes from a kind of sly parataxis, the rhetorical trope in which elements are placed side by side, without being overtly connected together.--Hari Kunzru, The Guardian
The people are the texture of New York...and there are 75 of them in New Yorkers, speaking in their own voices of their own experiences. Taylor is Canadian, an outsider: his love of New York is plain, his ability to listen extraordinary.--Erica Wagner, New Statesman