Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘Tales of Two Cities’

“The Future of New York” — TALES OF TWO CITIES illustrator Molly Crabapple in conversation with Deborah Eisenberg, Michael Greenberg, Hari Kunzru, and Jana Prikryl for the NYPL and the New York Review of Books

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

Two enduring city institutions, The New York Public Library and The New York Review of Books, join forces for an evening of conversation grounded in the ideas of possibility and promise. Regular NYRB contributors—fellow New Yorkers all—gather to discuss their reasons for optimism about what lies ahead and to speculate on how New York will come back from its setbacks in 2020.

Tue. Dec 8, 2020 8:00pm – 9:00pm EST

Register here.

Did saving a pool mean losing a community? Read an extract from TALES OF TWO LONDONS in The Guardian

Monday, April 16th, 2018

One summer day in 2003, the local residents of Hackney, north-east London, were invited on a tour of the abandoned site of London Fields Lido. Although closed since 1988, the pool was not empty. Squatters had moved in, and held raves in the old pool tank – much to the annoyance of campaigners, who had cleaned it up for community events. The tour was to introduce locals to a bold new redevelopment plan for the lido: to reopen the pool, install a cafe and evict the squatters.

As the locals were shown around, the squatters sat in front of the changing rooms, where purple buddleia had begun to grow above the doors, and watched them. One woman on the tour, meanwhile, enquired whether she would have to swim if she wanted a coffee. It was a moment that seemed to capture the extremes of life in Hackney: young homeless people facing eviction, and an affluent new resident who saw an opportunity for a latte.

Read the full extract here.

JOHN FREEMAN is profiled in the LA Times

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

Read here.

JOHN FREEMAN interviewed by Electric Literature about TALES OF TWO CITIES

Friday, March 20th, 2015

I want it to show that there are no villains and there are no angels here, just a heartbreakingly untenable situation, which we need more people to think about, pay attention to and talk about.

To read the rest of the interview, visit Electric Literature

TALES OF TWO CITIES reviewed in CounterPunch

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

The collection is packed with slice of life tales as varied as NYC pizza pies – with all the toppings: enormous energy, sage street wit, winsome wisdom, and the grit of Truth. And, I reckon, it would be worth the purchase for Zadie Smith’s edgy comical corset saga alone. But it’s a volume chock full of surprises: There’s Lawrence Joseph’s dazzling lyrical poem; bolshy transgenders; a Czech car mechanic (or is he Serbian?); a widowed former Red Cross chaplain turned bar tender dealing with power games of the entitled; gentrifying landlords driving out tenants by neglecting to heat their flats in mid-winter; Junot Diaz’ tale of reciprocal burglary; Bill Cheng’s memoir of being stuck in a hidden, forgotten cubicle writing copy that celebrates rags to riches go-getters; and so on.

To read the rest of the review, visit CounterPunch

TALES OF TWO CITIES named one of Flavorwire‘s 25 indie books you might have missed

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

There are a lot of recent attempts to cross section the vicissitudes of life in New York City in an essay collection. This is the best of them, and, perhaps, the only one that succeeds.— Jonathon Sturgeon

To read the rest of the article, visit Flavorwire

TALES OF TWO CITIES reviewed by the Socialist Standard

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

John Freeman in his introduction tells us that he set out to collect stories about life in New York that focus on the human consequences of inequality of wealth, which ‘is at its most acute in the ‘world cities’ where the rich choose to live (or invest their fortunes in real estate).’ What does it ‘feel like’ to live side by side with people who are vastly richer and/or vastly poorer than you are?

Some of the thirty stories are true accounts of experiences in the authors’ own lives. Others are fictional, but these too are meant to be true to life. About half of the authors dwell on matters that have no direct bearing on the theme of economic inequality. This is not a complaint: their stories are also of interest.

To read the rest of the article, visit the Socialist Standard

TALES OF TWO CITIES named one of Vogue‘s Indie Books to Read this Fall

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Borrowing a title from Dickens and wealth-gap statistics not too far off from Victorian London, the anthology Tales of Two Cities: The Best and Worst of Times in Today’s New York (OR Books) gathers stories and essays from Zadie Smith, Junot Díaz, and Lydia Davis, among others, depicting life on both sides of the coin—where the top one percent earn a minimum of $500,000 a year, while 22,000 children remain homeless.

To read the rest of the list, visit Vogue

TALES OF TWO CITIES reviewed on Feministing

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Writers like Teju Cole, Zadie Smith, Dave Eggers, and Junot Diaz also decorate the pages of Tales of Two Cities, not to mention Molly Crabapple’s illustrations. So many of their stories — stories about seeking basic dignity against such wealth inequality — are also found in cities throughout the world. (Indeed, Freeman describes the rent increases in New York City as “catastrophic,” which is the precise drumbeat in San Francisco today.) As a writer based in San Francisco and a lover of New York, I found that many of the themes of Tales of Two Cities resonate. Above all else, the anthology, full of pieces varied in tone and deeply personal perspectives, helps convey the reality of today’s economic inequality in ways that an academic tome simply can’t.

To read the rest of the review, visit Feministing.

TALES OF TWO CITIES named one of Guernica‘s Editors’ Picks

Monday, October 20th, 2014

OR Books’ collection of short fiction and essays explores the iniquities in America’s financial and cultural capital. Edited by former Granta editor John Freeman and illustrated by Molly Crabapple, the anthology features literary lions including Zadie Smith, Colum McCann, and Junot Diaz, as well as new voices such as Bill Cheng, Maria Venegas, and 15-year-old Chaasadahyah Jackson. To me, the most memorable piece is Smith’s, whose tragicomic “Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets” follows an aging trans woman who fails to find solace in a lingerie boutique and beyond. Remarkable, too, is Sarah Jaffe’s indignant reportage on a tenants’ rights struggle in Brooklyn and a personal essay by Tim Freeman on how Manhattan seduced him, then landed him in a homeless shelter. It’s a bristling portrayal of New York in the tradition of Jacob Riis.

To view the rest of the selections, visit Guernica

EVERY NIGHT A LITTLE DEATH a short story from TALES OF TWO CITIES available on Medium

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

All of this was potentially macabre given that we didn’t know if the attorney on twenty-eight was dead or alive, but I was so happy to be included and so giddy from lack of sleep that I was ready to lie down on the floor to get a laugh. But before I could embark on my moment in the spotlight, Rebecca got up from her desk and carried her Zippy the Chimp doll over to where I was standing.

“I’ve been here seven years!” she said. “No one has ever asked me to do the floorshow!”

She was kidding, I thought, but when I glanced at her I saw that her lower lip was quivering.

“So do it,” Abhinav said.

Rebecca sniffed. She lifted her doll. “This is Zippy.”

The room fell silent. We were all waiting, I thought, for the actual floorshow, given that she’d been carrying this monkey around for at least the five weeks I’d been working at the firm.

“What does Zippy do?” I finally asked.

Rebecca’s lip stopped quivering. She screwed her mouth into something close to grin, and her eyes twinkled with mischief. “This!” she said. Then she moved her hands to the doll’s ankles, swung him through the air, and brought his nose down on my head.

Zippy’s face, it turned out, was made of hard plastic. I felt such a blinding shot of pain that I thought I might pass out, and when the focus came back to my vision, I was seeing flecks of silver. “What the fuck?” I said, clutching my scalp.

That’s it!” Mr. Norwich shouted, getting to his feet and reaching for his coat. “I am not suffering this abuse a minute longer! Not the F word! No sir! I am going home right now, and I am talking to HR tomorrow! I was not hired to wallow around in a pornographic truck stop!

Read the full story on Medium

FOUR MORE YEARS, a story from TALES OF TWO CITIES available on Tin House

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

“But you don’t own no shovel.”

“How do you know that?”

“Look at you,” the man said.

With that, the civility of negotiation was pretty well shot. The possibility, even, of a more physical resolution seemed to Chris to have been suddenly introduced. And, shovel or no shovel, he had reason to feel confident should things take that turn. But he knew he couldn’t let it play out that way. Not only couldn’t he instigate it, he couldn’t even defend himself, couldn’t pop this lowlife in the jaw no matter how legitimately threatened he might feel, on his own doorstep no less. Because he knew how that could all be made to look. Poor people lived for the opportunity to sue you. It was just one more way they tied your hands.

“So it’s robbery, then, is what this is,” he said. “Let’s just call it by its name. You’re a fucking thief. No different than the rest of them.”

“It’s called the marketplace, bitch,” the man said. “It’s called knowing what your customer will bear.”

“You know what’s the really galling part? The only reason we were out tonight at all was because we were doing something for charity. For you, basically. And it’s not even like I’m asking for charity in return. I’m willing to make a fair transaction. But to you it’s just an opportunity to steal whatever I haven’t already given away. She’s right. You do hate us.”

They stood in their deep footprints for what seemed like a long time. They could see each other’s breath. At the end of the block they heard another plow pass by.

Read the full excerpt at Tin House.

The Millions announces the forthcoming publication of TALES OF TWO CITIES

Monday, July 28th, 2014

This September, OR Books will publish Tales of Two Cities, an anthology of short fiction focused on economic inequality in New York City. Among its contributors are some familiar names: Junot Díaz, Lydia Davis, Dave Eggers, Colum McCann, Téa Obreht, Zadie Smith, and Teju Cole. The volume will also be illustrated by Molly Crabapple, whose Occupy Wall Street portraits earned critical acclaim in 2012.

See the full announcement at The Millions.

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