My essay included in this anthology, was a semotically-flecked wander around New York for the first time. Taking in the contrasts and the breadth of American exceptionalism internationally, I wandered through moments and experiences.
The divide between rich and poor in New York is growing ever wider. In this collection of essays and short stories, writers from Zadie Smith to Dave Eggers look at how it has changed; at what has been lost and what, if anything, remains the same.
In a city where the top one percent earns more than half a million dollars per year while 25 thousand children are homeless, public discourse about our entrenched and worsening wealth gap has never been more sorely needed. This remarkable anthology is the literary world's response, with leading lights including Zadie Smith, Junot Díaz and Lydia Davis bearing witness to the experience of ordinary New Yorkers in extraordinarily unequal circumstances.
Through fiction and reportage, these writers convey the indignities and heartbreak, the callousness and solidarities, of living side by side with people of starkly different means. They shed light on the subterranean lives of homeless people who must find a bed in the city's tunnels; the stresses that gentrification can bring to neighbours in a Brooklyn apartment block; the shenanigans of seriously alienated night-shift paralegals; the trials of a housing defendant standing up for tenants' rights and the humanity that survives in the midst of a deeply divided city. TALES OF TWO CITIES is a brilliant, moving and ultimately galvanizing clarion call for a city in crisis.