The Resource Bitter Bronx : thirteen stories, Jerome Charyn

Bitter Bronx : thirteen stories, Jerome Charyn

Label
Bitter Bronx : thirteen stories
Title
Bitter Bronx
Title remainder
thirteen stories
Statement of responsibility
Jerome Charyn
Title variation
Bitter Bronx
Title variation remainder
13 stories
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • Charyn’s home turf is a determining element throughout his substantial and diverse body of work, including his memoir, Bronx Boy (2002). Memories and imagination mingle to particularly edgy and bewitching effect in his Bronx fables, which echo the Jewish gangster stories in The Odessa Tales by Isaac Babel, the subject of Charyn’s biography, Savage Shorthand (2005). Charyn’s Bronx is a haunted kingdom of derelict castles, floundering outlaws, and tormented princesses. Divided and decimated by the Cross Bronx Expressway, the Bronx is also cleaved into ethnic enclaves feudal in their rule and conflicts. Charyn’s male characters, including a mannerly grifter and a handsome, artistic Bronx teen lured into the smothering Mob ethos, are deeply compelling, but rebellious women are his most provocative characters, including a Latina “cat lady” entangled with the Albanian mob chieftain; Marla Silk, a crooked arbitrage king’s lawyer daughter; and a fictionalized version of the photographer Diane Arbus during her encounters with the Bronx’s poignant Jewish giant. Charyn’s dark, sexy, droll, and lacerating urban folktales of gangster tyranny, thwarted desire, and desperate measures are wizardly and bittersweet. -- Seaman, Donna (Reviewed 06-01-2015) (Booklist, vol 111, number 19, p38)
  • Tough on the outside but tender at heart, the 13 stories in this volume serve as a nostalgic elegy to the Bronx of the past. In “Lorelei,” a con man returns to his childhood home and finds his high school sweetheart trapped in a grotesque state of mutual dependency with her father. “Dee” explores the relationship between Diane Arbus and Eddie Carmel, the so-called Jewish Giant of the Bronx, made famous by her photographs. In “Major Leaguer,” a former baseball player develops an uneasy alliance with a neighborhood drug lord whose father remembered the one game that he played for the New York Yankees. The setting for all of the stories is a Bronx divided into north and south by “an expressway, which had turned everything around it into a vast moonscape of flattened warehouses and empty lots,” and the titular bitterness is Charyn’s own at the blight brought to the borough he remembers from childhood. For all that, Charyn’s well-drawn characters nonetheless flourish, and most manage to rise above their decrepit surroundings, such as the high school teacher in “Milo’s Last Chance” who infects his barrio students with his enthusiasm for poetry “until they began to sing out words like some wild soprano.” Mixing equal parts grit and charm, there’s no need to have set foot in the Bronx to enjoy these stories. (June) --Staff (Reviewed April 6, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 14, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Grifters, gangs, vamps, and lost souls pursue gritty lives in "the brick wilderness of the Bronx" in this collection of tales by a veteran storyteller and native of the New York borough. The opening line, "Howell was still on the lam," establishes a noirish tone and diction that will appear often, beginning with this tale of a man who travels the U.S. conning widows until he returns to his Bronx hometown and rediscovers an old flame. The time of the collection spans the postwar era, when New York gangs danced into West Side Story, through the sad days of the 1950s, after a Robert Moses highway split Charyn's boyhood turf, uprooted neighborhoods, and led, in the 1970s, to the desolation of the South Bronx. Historical figures enter these little fictions, just as admitted fabrications drifted into two Charyn childhood memoirs (Bronx Boy, 2002; The Black Swan, 2000). A Diane Arbus type named Dee tries to capture in a photo the soul of the 8-foot-9-inch Eddie Carmel. Mobster Frank Costello moves in the background of a trio of stories featuring a good-looking kid who becomes a male model ("I was 15 when Rosenzweig discovered me at the Frick Collection"). In another trio, a Manhattan woman discovers where her sister vanished to at age 5 and retrieves her from a "home for alcoholic movie stars and mental patients." Charyn's staccato style is full of jolts, surprising observations, and turns of phrase. It works well with the rough struggle for survival and success in "the wild lands of the Bronx." And some stories soar: in particular, the troubled romance between a plumber and an Irish nurse in "Major Leaguer," which artfully assembles such Bronx icons as street gangs, the drug trade, Robert Moses, and the New York Yankees. Charyn calls the work "no sentimental journey through my own traces as a child," yet there's a writer's deep affection here for a world full of color and character.(Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2015)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10426903
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Charyn, Jerome
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3553.H33
LC item number
A6 2015
Literary form
short stories
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
Bronx (New York, N.Y.)
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
thirteen stories
Label
Bitter Bronx : thirteen stories, Jerome Charyn
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
223 pages
Isbn
9780871404893
Lccn
2015002080
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o891611119
  • (OCoLC)891611119
Label
Bitter Bronx : thirteen stories, Jerome Charyn
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
223 pages
Isbn
9780871404893
Lccn
2015002080
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o891611119
  • (OCoLC)891611119

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