Appearing Elsewhere

June 21, 2012 | 2

Prospero, the new arts and culture blog of The Economist, has just posted my piece on literary Brooklyn, which explains how New York’s trendiest borough has become a vertically integrated factory for the production of fiction and poetry.

is a staff writer for The Millions and a contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine. His nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Salon, and The Economist. His fiction has appeared in Tin House, December, The Southampton Review, and The Cortland Review. His debut novel, Blithedale Canyon, is due out from Regal House in 2022.


  1. The larger question here should be, what kind of impact is this consolidation of writers into one burrough of one city having on American lit as a whole? I.e., is this a good thing?

    Personally the last thing I want to read right now is another New York novel by the editor of some Brooklyn lit mag published by a friend of his Park Slope neighbor. Yet these keep popping up.

    I’d argue this sort of insularity diminshes quality – the focus seeming to be living a hip writerly life in a hip writerly neighborhood instead of, you know, writing a damn good book. Let’s not forget this Brooklyn “factory” (and “factory” is quite appropriate) spit out a book called “All The Sad Young Literary Men”. How anyone would want to read a novel with that insufferable title is beyond me.

    I’m not saying everything coming out of NYC these days is bad. Not true. But there’s much more interesting work being published in Chicago (Dalkey, U. Chicago) and Minneapolis (Graywolf, Milkweed, Coffee House), just to name
    two. And I don’t think it would hurt for all these NY-based writers, editors, publishers, etc. to get the hell out of Brooklyn once in a while and see how the rest of our grand huge weird country lives.

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