cover image Gone to New York: Adventures in the City

Gone to New York: Adventures in the City

Ian Frazier, , foreword by Jamaica Kincaid. . Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $22 (203pp) ISBN 978-0-374-28163-2

Frazier (Great Plains ) chronicles his relationship with New York City in this collection of essays from the New Yorker , the Atlantic and elsewhere. Kincaid's foreword celebrates her friend's identification with Ohio, but despite the formative importance of his hometown and state, Frazier clearly develops a particular, fond attachment to all the places he comes to know. His essays pile up sensory detail, personalities, stories and history, creating a patina of personal meaning. Whether it's Canal Street in a grittier time, the bus route he takes to his current home in New Jersey or the roundabout way he made it to New York in the first place, Frazier creates a sense of place and of the way people interact with it: a memorial grows up and disintegrates at the site of a fatal shooting; a repairman embodies the history of typewriters; he himself becomes obsessed with removing bags stuck in trees. Some sense of New York is probably necessary to enjoy this collection, but whether one's knowledge is great or slight, Frazier's evocation of the city over three decades is thoughtful, entertaining and occasionally moving, and his own journey from the Midwest to Manhattan, Brooklyn and eventually New Jersey will resonate for many readers. (Nov. 3)