Roxane Gay To Cheryl Strayed, Groundbreaking Writers Share Their Visceral, Heart Bending Stories About The Everlasting Magic And Unavoidable Misery Of Living In New York City In , Joan Didion Wrote An Essay Called Goodbye To All That, A Work Of Such Candid And Penetrating Prose That It Soon Became The Gold Standard For Personal Essays Like No Other Story Before It, Didion S Tale Of Loving And Leaving New York Captured The Mesmerizing Allure Manhattan Trailer · Goodbye to All That PDF by Ø Sari Botton Has Always Had For Writers, Poets, And Wandering SpiritsIn This Captivating Collection, Writers Take Up Didion S Literary Legacy By Sharing Their Own New York Stories Their Essays Often Begin As Love Stories Do, With The Passion Of Something Newly Discovered The Crush Of Subway Crowds, The Streets Filled With Manic Energy, And The Certainty That This Is The Only Place On Earth Where One Can Become Exactly Who She Is Meant To BeThey Also Share The Grief That Comes When The Metropolis Loses Its Magic And The Pressures Of New York S Frenetic Life Wear Thin On Even The Most Fervent Dwellers As Friends Move Away, Rents Soar, And Love Still Remains Just Out Of Reach, Each Writer S Goodbye To New York Is Singular And Universal, Like New York Itself With Cheryl Strayed, Dani Shapiro, Emma Straub, Ann Hood, And Terrible book I couldn t finish it, because it was like being trapped in a summer internship at Seventeen Magazine Let me explain All the contributors are women for some odd reason, and this is the effect the contributors all love and hate New York in the same ditzy emotional ways they love and hate the men mostly losers who seem to govern their choices over where to live Look, it s just a city No , no less Everyone in this book needs to get over themselves, and go live in Dubuque.
My first hand experience with New York City took place in August 1971 as a small boy on holiday to visit relatives there In the intervening years, I ve visited New York 4 other times, seeing it from a variety of angles and perspectives But never with a desire to live there Too big, too crazy , I d always say to myself Notwithstanding that, I have had at times an overweening curiosity as to why other people outsiders to the Big Apple, like me have fallen so deeply, passionately IN LOVE with the metropolis that they have eagerly uprooted themselves to live and work there to experience the New York state of life and make it theirs Here in Goodbye to All That Writers on Loving and Leaving New York , the reader is given entr e to the heart and soul of the City through the essays of a number of writers, who, at various times in their lives, have lived there and thoro Of my friends who have left New York, most of them have left for the sort of torn, bittersweet reasons that most of the writers in this anthology have left for space is available elsewhere, time, exhausted by the embarrassing rents, going to graduate school, having grown up here and wearied of it, realizing that the promise of a new self is just an inside job and you don t have to stay here to pull it off and in some cases have to move on in order to and, by and large, are not dicks about it There are exceptions, but for the most part.
This anthology is about like that no one on the high horse about what a schmuck you are to still live here, everyone a little sad they had to let go, a lot of them missing it badly, many of them having returned since.
The essays range from good to great and this is definitely worth reading if you re thinking about moving h à Goodbye to All That ✓ Whiney, entitled late 20 something women who thought going to NY would transform them into interesting, non whiney, entitled jerks Most moved away due to having kids and succumbing to a life of boredom in the suburbs or not being able to accept the reality of needing a real job One writer was actually a NYC native, and she was different only in the way that she whined about NY and how it used to be cool, man Maybe 2 essays in this book were worthwhile TL DR What a pile of piss.
This is a rough book to read, if you ve recently hit the 5 years in New York mark and are contemplating an exit, if only to the burbs It s a nostalgia ride, nostalgia for a place this is still in the present time, feeling the eventual loss before it s even happened.
But before I slip into an emotional reverie about living in or out of New York City, I want to comment on the actual collection of essays Reading it felt a bit like an anthology version of the movieGroundhog Day , starting each essay anew only to follow the same cycle of Young Girl visits city, dreams of living there some day to be a Writer, does so, enjoys the challenge for awhile until debt drugs depression ruined marriage s catch up to her, moves upstate or to a foreign country where she doesn t speak the language, reflects Might as well hashtag the whole thing with FirstWorldP I was quite proud of myself smug, really because I had the great idea to give this to a friend who was leaving NYC for Silicon Valley She was touched So far so good Then I bought a copy for myself because I love half the writers in this collection Roxane Gay Dani Shapiro Cheryl Strayed and was looking forward to discovering the others So I read the book in a day, and loved it, but now I understand a little too well why most of the writers left I recommend this for anyone who hates New York City, left New York City, can t afford New York City, wants to live in New York City someday or has to live in New York City for work but doesn t want to be here Also great for people living in New York City who you re trying to convince to move to Portland, Oregon or Redondo Beach, California Be careful about giving this book to current residents because they ll suddenly have won Oh this book I picked it up in an independent book store in Brooklyn, the day before I too was leaving New York to head back home It was only a weekend, but I felt the pain and pangs described in this book accurately as well as the fairy tale love stories also described so wonderfully.
If you hate New York 1 i don t understand you you will hate this book But if you dream of it, with complexity, or if you live there, also with complexity, you will find great meaning in it And of course, it s about all those larger themes belonging, possibility, the changing nature of home , the changing nature of us as humans.
I docked a star off because it really should include the original Joan Didion essay that the title is based off You ve got to read it, if you read this book.
Well full disclosureI edited this book And conceived of it in general And wrote the intro, an essay, and So, I m not exactly impartial.
I couldn t finish it.
Super boring.
Plus almost all of the stories are written from the perspective of people who are not native New Yorkers It s a bunch of whiny people who came and tried to make it.
I think the book would have been a lot better were it from the view of a native New Yorkers who no longer wanted to struggle in the dog eat dog aspect of this city.
That would have made for an entirely better book, IMHO.

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