RSVP Required - see below
Tired of a diluted and anonymized New York City in your books? Wish you could escape lower Manhattan/north Brooklyn continuum? Take a tour through 20th century NYC literature, poetry and nonfiction, and map out new (to you) neighborhoods and cultures, from the communists up in Harlem and out of City College during the Great Depression, to the meatheads roughhousing with one another in postwar Bay Ridge. We’ll see the city through new eyes; poets from Spain stop over, prolific writers from Austria recast the story of Job on Broome Street. If so inclined, perhaps we can hop over to Yonkers or Patterson as well. We’ll reacquaint ourselves with our city via the innumerable experiences therein!
This month we'll discuss Sarah Schulman's novel of "queers, writers, and rat-killers in AIDS-era NYC," Rat Bohemia.
"More persuasively than any other contemporary novelist, Sarah Schulman traces the ways in which the disenfranchisement that begins as a political evil pervades every aspect of life, from the metaphysical and spiritual to the most intimate moments of two people together."--Tony Kushner
"My surrender to Rat Bohemia is a testimonial to its gimlet-eyed accuracy, its zero-degree honesty. . . . It blows] the traditional novel off its hinges."--Edmund White, The New York Times Book Review
First published in 1995, this award-winning novel is a bold, achingly honest story set in the "rat bohemia" of New York City, whose huddled masses include gay men and lesbians abandoned by their families and forced to find new bonds with one another in the wake of this loss. Navigating the currents of the city are three friends: Rita Mae, a rat exterminator; Killer, a career plant-waterer; and David, an HIV-positive writer. Together, they seek new ways to be truthful and honest about their lives as others around them avert their glances. Alternately elegiac, defiant, and funny, Rat Bohemia is an expansive novel about how one can cope with loss and heal the wounds of the past by reinventing oneself in the city.
Rat Bohemia won the Ferro-Grumley Award for Lesbian Fiction and was named one of the "100 Best Gay and Lesbian Novels of All Time" by the Publishing Triangle.
Reserve your place with a $5 voucher, redeemable on the night of the book club meeting on any product in store.