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Posts from Hudson Park Library

The Ultimate Sophistication: William Gaddis

William Gaddis was born on December 29 and lived at 79 Horatio Street in New York City.

Here’s a quote from his best known novel:

Stop being so God Damn humble … You know God damn well that … that humility ... Read More ›

Moving Six Times: Who Has Time to Write?

Theodore Dreiser moved around a lot.

I have six addresses for him in New York City's Greenwich Village, including 16 St. Lukes Place, right across the street from NYPL's Hudson Park Library. I hope he dropped in sometimes.

He also lived at

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Mr. Flood's Party

If you are of a certain age, you may be familiar with Edwin Arlington Robinson from a Simon and Garfunkel song, "Richard Cory." The words of the song were changed somewhat from what Robinson wrote but it still ended with the same shocking, brutal conclusion. Here’s the whole poem:

Whenever Richard Cory went down town, We people on the pavement looked 

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How Many Anthropologists Can You Name?

Margaret Mead was something of an anthropology superstar. After all, how many other anthropologists can you name? Her birthday is December 18 and she lived in the Village at 72 Perry Street and

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Come Discuss "Tinkers" by Paul Harding

The story behind Tinkers by Paul Harding is as inspirational as many novels.

A quiet, contemplative novel which imagines the last days of a man interspersed with scenes from the death of his epileptic father, it was rejected by many publishers before being picked up by a small press.

Community bookstores championed the work and Tinkers became the first independently published novel to win the Pulitzer Prize (2009) since

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The Very Best and the Very Worst: Happy Birthday Ford Madox Ford

Most of the writers who ended up in the Village came from the small towns of America, but some came from overseas. Ford Madox Ford, an Englishman, lived for a time at 10 Fifth Avenue. His birthday is December 17th.

A few words from Mr. 

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Made of Stories

Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist, was born on December 15, 1913.

She lived in Westbeth at Bethune and West Streets in the West Village.

Her words will tell you more about her 

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What Would You Get for James Thurber's Birthday?

James Thurber lived in New York City's Greenwich Village on Horatio Street near Ninth Avenue. He even wrote a poem called “Villanelle of Horatio 

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Willa Cather's Birthday

Willa Cather's birthday is December 7th. Although famous for writing about the Midwest, especially Nebraska, Cather spent much of her life and career in New York City's Greenwich Village. She took up residence at several locations in the Village including 60 Washington Square, 82 Washington Place, 5 Bank Street, and the Hotel Grosvenor.

Celebrate her birthday by reading one of her books!

Some

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Happy Birthday, Calvin

Calvin Trillin, a friend of the Library and a Village writer, celebrates his birthday December 5, 2011. You can celebrate, too, by checking out one of his books!

As someone who often serves leftovers, I offer this Trillin quote:

“The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. 

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What Kind of Reader?

What kind of reader are you?

And what is the nature of reading?

It’s a simple enough question, and like many simple questions, it doesn’t have a simple answer.

In If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler Italo Calvino explores this question. It’s ingenious how he does it, and it’s the subject of Hudson Park’s next book club meeting 

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A Moment in Time in Greenwich Village

There is something about a photograph that speaks of permanence, but what it captures is the quintessence of the ephemeral — a moment in time.

Drew Martin has captured a neighborhood in time — Greenwich Village, April 2011 — in his current show at Hudson Park Library: UNDER THE HOOD: New York. Over 250 black and white photographs with personal comments document the people, pets, and places around Hudson Park Library.

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First Blooms: Witch-Hazel in Greenwich Village

Witch-hazel. Many plants have evocative names, but few can beat witch-hazel. It sounds magical, although as an old-fashioned treatment for insect bites, maybe it is less than magic, but its scent always makes you feel cooler and fresher.

What is magical about witch-hazel is that it is, right now, on March 1st, in full bloom. The first tree (after all, it's still winter) to flower, witch-hazel does not have particularly showy blooms. Its yellow pales compared to daffodils or forsythia, but it 

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Review of Fusiliers: The Saga of a British Redcoat Regiment in the American Revolution

Fusiliers: The Saga of a British Redcoat Regiment in the American Revolution by Mark Urban should be required reading for all aspiring historians on the American Revolutionary War. Many older historians should also take note of this fine book. Mark Urban purports to tell the story of one British regiment, the 23rd, or Royal Welch Fusiliers, but it is really about the whole British expereince in the war that the book concerns itself. While focusing on this one illustrious corps the author provides us a means to evaluate 

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Artist finds inspiration in France and closer to home

Village artist Elliott Gilbert finds his inspiration in the landscapes and ancient buildings of France. And sometimes he finds his inspiration closer to home, as in this work City Hall Park.

He is exhibiting 15 pieces at the Hudson Park Library through the end of February 2011.

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The Sarajevo Haggadah

For any manmade thing to survive for over five hundred years is an amazing. For it to be a Jewish book in Europe is a miracle.

Geraldine Brooks tells the story of such a miraculous happening in People of the Book. Join the Hudson Park Book Discussion Saturday, July 10, from 10:30 to 12 noon and we will discuss the fascinating journey of this book, an illuminated Haggadah, a prayer book used during Passover. You can 

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What happens when somebody disappears? Book discussion June 12

Join the Hudson Park book discussion June 12 for some lively talk about Nathan Englander's Ministry of Special Cases.

A couple's teenage son disappears during the "dirty war" in Argentina in the 1970s. Kafkaesque, Ministry of Special Cases is a powerful novel about love, family and absence.

Pick up your copy now at Hudson Park.

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When Rules Don't Make Sense: The Sisters Grimm

The magic in books has to follow rules. That's what makes these books like games: The characters have to figure out how to win the quest or contest (or defeat the evil forces) by using magic correctly. But sometimes the rules underlying the magic don't quite make sense.

That's the case with Michael Buckley's Sisters Grimm series. The basic magical rule in this series is that fairytale characters, called Everafters, are trapped inside a town 

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The Magic Game in The Thief Lord

A common rule of magic (and of games) is that once something is done, it can't be undone. That's the magical rule that applies in The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke.

This is a fine rule. I feel cheated when things can be undone. Once your hand leaves that chessman, that's it, your turn is over. And once certain decisions are made in The Thief Lord, the characters have to live with them. No mulligans! Often books with magic don't follow through with this rule. In many stories, breaking the spell is the 

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Mary Dodd meet Little Wolf: One Thousand White Women

There's still time to pick up your copy of One Thousand White Women: The Journals of Mary Dodd by Jim Fergus and join our next book discussion May 8 at 10:30 am.

What would have happened if the U.S. government had agreed to trade 1,000 women to be wives for Cheyenne Indians in exchange for 1,000 horses?

Get your copy at Hudson Park.

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