Books

The Subway Chronicles: Scenes from Life in New York

The Subway ChroniclesMy first book, The Subway Chronicles: Scenes from Life in New York (Penguin/Plume), contains twenty-seven essays about the New York City subway system written by well-known straphangers such as Jonathan Lethem, Colson Whitehead and Francine Prose. The collection received print reviews nationally and she appeared on a variety of broadcast media outlets such as CBS Morning News, NY1 and NPR.

From The New York Times:  “…reading a “Chronicles story is like spotting a person undressing in an apartment across the street. Casually revealing, each essay provides an intimate glimpse into a single New York life.”

From Publishers Weekly: Here is a delightful collection of New York stories by veteran straphangers—both known and unknown—dedicated to that amazing underground network. Along with expected accounts of the unsavory run-ins with weirdoes and stink bombs during the usual subway commute (e.g., Daniels Parseliti’s “Porno Man and I Versus the Feminist Avenger and Displaced Anger Man”), many of these authors offer poignant memories of riding the trains over the years, such as Jonathan Lethem’s account of haunting the eponymous station in “Speak, Hoyt-Schermerhorn” as a white, liberal-middle-class kid immersed in a fringe area of crime and poverty. “Parnassus Underground” by Patrick Flynn recalls joyfully the meaty reading the author was able to accomplish during long workday commutes from the Bronx, before he moved and (to his literary despair) shortened his travel time. Robert Lanham’s “Straphanger Doppelgänger” records the chilling encounter between two commuters of uncanny resemblance who have observed each other over a long period. Most gratifying are the historical details worked into many of the essays, such as the comparison between Russian and New York underground railroads as noted by Boris Fishman in “Metro Blues, or How I Came to America.” This is a clever collection gathered by Cangro from her Web site, thesubwaychronicles.com.

From Metro New York:  “…it would be pretty meta of you to…pick up The Subway Chronicles: Scenes From Life in New York (on your morning commute.)”

Available through AmazonBarnes & Noble or Powell’s.


Writing is the act of discovery.

Natalie Goldberg

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