Other Writing

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Jennifer Egan’s MANHATTAN BEACH

In the opening pages of “Manhattan Beach” — Jennifer Egan’s first novel since she won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in fiction for “A Visit From the Goon Squad” — an 11-year-old girl named Anna Kerrigan visits the titular stretch of Brooklyn shoreline on a winter day in the company of her father, Eddie, and an underworld figure named Dexter Styles. Though this encounter in 1934 is brief, and circumstances quickly send the three characters in disparate directions, readers will…

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A Glimpse of Stocking

In recent summers, my father has come to Manhattan so we can dine at the bar of the Union Square Café, go to a show, and wrap it up with a nightcap. This year, he suggested we see Anything Goes, the Cole Porter revival currently playing on Broadway. It was a reunion of sorts. When I was ten, our babysitter Mary Fallon turned on the rarely used kitchen radio to a rock & roll station, and it was never turned…

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CLOSING TIME

One for My Baby It’s quarter to three There’s no one in the place except you and me So set em up Joe I got a little story, you oughtta know… Around 1947, Frank Sinatra first performed his doleful wonder One for My Baby, a 28 line one-way conversation between a man and his bartender when everyone else has left the bar. This brief interaction in the nether-hour of Closing Time is not simply a setup…

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