Ghost Town

To pick up a theme from the previous post, I was very interested to hear (probably via cityofsound) a few months back that Bloomsbury were working on a new series called The Writer and the City. In their words:

The Writer and the City is a series of beautifully produced, pocket-sized books featuring great authors writing about cities they know best.

Patrick McGrath’s Ghost Town is the first I’ve had a chance to read and it’s a great collection of three short stories set in New York City, moving from the tragedy of the War of Independence (when much of the city was burned to the ground), through the bustle of the city’s explosive growth as a financial center in the 19th century and on to the tale of a psychiatrist dealing with her own feelings about the destruction of the World Trade Center as she seeks to manage a patient’s situation.

The real power of the stories lies—as I’m sure was the intention when they were chosen for this series—in the tapestry they together weave, portraying the city in several stages of its development, telling tales of characters from different classes, living through markedly different situations, but all part of the history and the fabric of New York.

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