Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York

For almost 40 years Roz Chast has interpreted life's ordinary moments in her New Yorker cartoons. Her candid and funny graphic memoir about caring for her elderly parents in their Brooklyn apartment--Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?--earned a National Book Critics Circle Award and a 100-week run on the New York Times bestseller list.

Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York was originally conceived as a reference tool for Chast's daughter, Nina--leaving their suburban home for college in Manhattan. This is "not a definitive guidebook," but rather a gift so Nina might fall in love with the city as Chast did. With hilarious asides (she depicts her children calling fire escapes "those West Side Story things") Chast's advice is practical. She explains the street grids (East Manhattan vs. West, avenue vs. street, uptown vs. downtown) and the exceptions: "No one calls Sixth Avenue 'Avenue of the Americas' because GIVE ME A BREAK!"

The drawings are in her classic style. A stereotypical "herd of out-of-towners" surround one boingy-eyed woman with an "OMIGOD why aren't these people MOVING?!" thought bubble. The subway chapter explains its numbers and letters, acknowledging the sometimes "devil-may-care" schedules. "Stuff to Do" showcases Central Park with a "slightly squished" map. Manhattan wildlife? Meet mice, rats and giant rats, and learn to resist that "cute discarded bedbug-colonized throw pillow."

Chast closes with a thank-you note to New York alongside a photo of her as a little girl with her mother, together on a street of the city she loves. --Cheryl Krocker McKeon, manager, Book Passage, San Francisco

Powered by: Xtenit