Thursday, March 6, 2008

Being a Brooklyn Writer

There are many writers in Brooklyn but it's not because this place is the mecca of literature. It's just because of it's proximity to Manhattan and the rents are within the range of possibility ($1500-2000+ for a one-bedroom) instead of in the range of fantasy ($2300+ for a one-bedroom) in Manhattan. Colson Whitehead wrote a humorous essay on the subject in this week's NY Times Book Review.

From New York Time Book Review by Colson Whitehead:
"I Write in Brooklyn. Get Over It." —

In some ways, the new community is awesome. Never before have we enjoyed such a bounty of villanelles about waiting for the F train. The Brooklyn Book Festival is great. Glad to participate. But if Cadman Plaza really wants to get serious about supporting its writers, it has to start investing in infrastructure. I’m not talking about reading series and WiFi-enabled cafes; we have enough of those. I’m talking shrinks. We need more Brooklyn-based shrinks for our artistically capable but mentally delicate scriveners.

In it's essence, the essay is all true. There is no literary mystique about Brooklyn. I fell for it and opened a bookstore here. I know, maybe better than anyone else, that people here are not anymore literary than any other place in the country. And, unfortunately, that's not saying much...God, I think I sound bitter.


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