Join Douglas Watson for the release party of his debut collection of fiction, The Era of Not Quite (BOA Editions) Douglas will be joined for a reading by special guests Hannah Tinti (author of The Good Thief and Animal Crackers and editor-in-chief of One Story) and Anthony Tognazzini (author of I Carry A Hammer In My Pocket For Occasions Such As These).
Winner of the inaugural BOA Editions Short Fiction Prize, Watson’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Fifty-two Stories, Tin House Flash Fridays, One Story, Sou’wester, The Journal, Ecotone, Salt Hill, and other publications. His story “Life on the Moon” was chosen by Dan Chaon and Wigleaf in 2012 as one of the year’s top fifty very short fictions. He will be featured as a literary debutante at One Story’s 2013 Literary Debutante Ball. Watson was born in Scranton, Pa., grew up near Reading, Pa., and graduated from Swarthmore College. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Ohio State University and an MA in history from Brown University. He lives in New York City, where he works as a copy editor for Time magazine.
Praise for The Era of Not Quite:
“Once upon a time, an acquaintance of Kurt Vonnegut, having read all of the writer’s books, accused Vonnegut of putting bitter coatings on very sweet pills, and I am here to level the same charge against Douglas Watson. Yes, this collection is a relentless catalogue of frailty, folly, and mortal misery, but if you look beyond the cholera, the neck wounds, the burning feet, the bleached bones, the voids, the caves, the deaths at sea, the stillborn babes, the senseless yearnings of the heart, the grief and despair and profound loneliness, then what you will find, reader, is a tender, lovely, elegant celebration of the very idea of life, of living. These are vital and exceptional tales.”
—Chris Bachelder, author of Abbott Awaits
A page spread from Times Square Tintypes: Being Typewriter Caricatures of Those Who Made Their Names Along the Not So Straight and Very Narrow Path of Broadway (1930, Ives Washburn). With illustrations by Gard (of Sardi’s fame), Sidney Skolsky’s highly impressionistic biographies of Broadway’s high and low denizens. Skolsky was a gossip columnist for New York papers and these have the rat-a-tat-tat cadence of his fellow deadline writers: Walter Winchell and Damon Runyon. 291 pages. $40. For further info, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cover of Reminiscences of the Old Fire Laddies and Volunteer Fire Departments of New York and Brooklyn: Together with a Complete History of the Paid Departments of Both Cities (1885, M. Crane). Biased but colorful recollections of fire fighting in the 19th century, written before Brooklyn was incorporated into New York City. Notable fires (like the Brooklyn Theater fire 1876) are discussed in detail, as well as biographies of the firemen (including African-American volunteers). In excellent condition it is 897 pages with illustrations. $400. For more info, e-mail email@example.com.
Detail from a reproduction map folded into the Manual of the Common Council of New-York (1857, D.T. Valentine). A rare pre-Civil War guide-or really almanac-to New York that lists everything from the value of wharves to the location of pawn brokers. 571 pages with multiple maps (some torn, but overall in good shape). $300. For more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detail from the inside of Moses King’s Notable New Yorkers of 1896-1899 (1899, Bartlett & Company). A companion to King’s Handbook of New York City, it is a cross between a Who’s Who and a high school yearbook, featuring Big Apple elite from industrialists to publishers (the above Funk and Wagnalls) to innovators (Edison and Tesla are listed as electricians) and entertainers. Loose boards make this a bit of a bargain. 616 pages. $25. For further info, e-mail email@example.com.
A map from inside a 1928 edition of the Bronx Zoo’s (technically the New York Zoological Park’s) official guide. The binding is in poor condition, but chockfull of images of your favorite captive beasts, from Abyssinian wild asses to musk-ox calves. $10. For further info, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detail from endpaper map in Key to New York: Empire City (1964, Fountainhead Publishers). A comprehensive guide to the city for the World’s Fair traveler, with an overview of the restaurant and shopping scene in the Mad Men era. Probably not referenced by Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters. 626 pages. $8. For further information, e-mail email@example.com.
Front and back of the tourist brochure, New York: The Wonder City from the mid-1940s. About 50 pages of black and white photos of chief attractions around town. The kind of guide Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly’s bright-eyed characters in On the Town would have used in their dance around the five boroughs. $20. For further info, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to Irving Street, the lost block of Brooklyn
As part of our ongoing efforts to scan and upload photos and negatives documenting the Columbia Street waterfront in the 1960s and ’70s, we share this latest set of images featuring the forgotten stretch of Irving, a short street extending between Columbia and the waterfront. After the buildings across from Freebird were torn down in the late 1970s, the Port Authority took over the land and it is now occupied by the container docks. But for a brief time it became a playground and event space for the Puerto Rican community that then lined the waterfront from Kane to Degraw.