12 August 2016

reverse provincialism

As I meandered about at the Strand Bookstore, the voiceover announced that Tama Janowitz would soon be talking upstairs in the Rare Book Room about her new book Scream: a memoir of glamour and dysfunction, just out from HarperCollins. I don't know as I've ever read any of Janowitz's books, from Slaves of New York to more recent works. Still, I certainly knew her name and could recognize her from celebrity photos. The iconic East Village kind of woman from the era she shared with the likes of Bret Easton Ellis and Jay McInerney. As it turns out, about five years ago, she headed to Ithaca to move her ailing mother from the house to assisted living. She didn't intend to stay for long but found Ithaca oppressive. So she moved to Schuyler County (one county closer to my house in Alfred). She still looks pretty downtown but talks about rural upstate New York without irony. The titters among the downtown crowd were pretty constant but I was listening real carefully when she talked about being tired of the New York City scene and enjoying her horse and doing pretty well overall in Schuyler County. I might just have to read the book. It's been pretty tough recently but maybe it's just the summer doldrums of a small college town.

Here's a rather good essay from the New York Post"Why Tama Janowitz traded NYC fame-culture for life upstate" by Mackenzie Dawson (August 12, 2016).

For those of you following the genre/form trail, Janowitz did talk about hearing from folks about what can and can't be in a memoir.

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