2. New York Stories
Let the Great World Spin
By Colum McCann (Random House)
A sweeping novel of the city in the seventies told partly through the eyes of an Irish immigrant.
EXCERPT: “I’d been in the South Bronx a week. It was so humid, some nights, we had to shoulder the door closed. Kids on the tenth floor aimed television sets at the housing cops who patrolled below. Air mail … On the radio there was a song about the revolution being ghettoized. Arson on the streets. It was a city with its fingers in the garbage, a city that ate off dirty dishes. I had to get out.”
Wrestling With Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took On New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City
By Anthony Flint (July 28; Random House)
The origin story of modern New York. Shorter and more manageable than The Power Broker.
The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream
By Patrick Radden Keefe (July 21; Doubleday)
The chronicle of a middle-aged Chinese woman known as Sister Ping who became the Don Corleone of Fujianese immigrant-smuggling.