NYC To Its Edges Book Club with Patrick & Ben

 
April 23rd
6:30pm
 
McNally Jackson Downtown Brooklyn
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 seminal Harlem Renaissance writer Claude McKay's newly discovered final novel, Amiable with Big Teeth.

“This is a major discovery. It dramatically expands the canon of novels written by Harlem Renaissance writers. More important, because it was written in the second half of the period, it shows that the renaissance continued to be vibrant and creative and turned its focus to international issues — in this case the tensions between Communists, on the one hand, and black nationalists, on the other, for the hearts and minds of black Americans.”
—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

“Claude McKay is such a romantic, questing figure in American literature that he belongs as much to the Lost Generation as he does to the Harlem Renaissance. The dramatic work of his expatriate youth is celebrated, but much less attention has been paid to what he wrote after he returned to New York in the mid 1930s. Indeed, his autobiography, a monumental survey of Harlem, and his occasional pieces were all we knew of his late work. Now two brilliant scholars have discovered McKay's last novel and thereby changed our picture of his closing years. Amiable with Big Teeth also tells us a lot about how black people around the globe responded to the invasion of Ethiopia and the spectre of fascism. McKay is always interesting and always heartbreaking, he is so original and desperate and brave.”
—Darryl Pinckney

The unexpected discovery in 2009 of a completed manuscript of Claude McKay’s final novel was celebrated as one of the most significant literary events in recent years. Building on the already extraordinary legacy of McKay’s life and work, this colorful, dramatic novel centers on the efforts by Harlem intelligentsia to organize support for the liberation of fascist-controlled Ethiopia, a crucial but largely forgotten event in American history. At once a penetrating satire of political machinations in Depression-era Harlem and a far-reaching story of global intrigue and romance, Amiable with Big Teeth plunges into the concerns, anxieties, hopes, and dreams of African-Americans at a moment of crisis for the soul of Harlem—and America.


 

Reserve your place with a $5 voucher, redeemable on the night of the book club meeting on any product in store.

Price: $5.00