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Posts by John Flood

Genius Row: Frank Norris in the Village

So many remarkable writers lived in New York City at 61 Washington Square South and the adjoining homes that the structures became known as Genius Row. Frank Norris, a writer mostly associated with San Francisco, lived here for a time (as did Willa Cather

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The Mortality of Books: William Dean Howells

William Dean Howells was known as the "The Dean of American Letters." He died in 1920. I wonder who would have that title now?

Howells lived at 1 Washington Square in New York City and was born March 1, 1837.

In a letter to 

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First Fig: Edna St. Vincent Millay in the Village

The house is for sale again, apparently — One of the most famous in Greenwich Village, 75 1/2 Bedford Street, otherwise known as the skinniest house in New York.

Formerly, it was the home of

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Life is a Stream: Amy Lowell in the Village

Amy Lowell was a poet who lived for a time at 61 Washington Square in New York City. February 9 is her birthday.

Here is a short selection from her work:

Life is a stream On which we strew Petal by petal the flower of our heart.

"Petals," from

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Call It Sleep: Henry Roth in the Village

Henry Roth was living at 61 Morton Street in New York City while writing his classic novel of the immigrant experience, Call It Sleep, published in 1934. His birthday is February 8.


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Priggish and of Dubious Virtue

Sinclair Lewis, like many writers who lived in the Village, came from elsewhere — from Sauk Centre, Minnesota, in fact, whose citizens did not care at all for how they were depicted in his phenomenally popular novel Main Street.

Lewis lived for a time at

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Lunch, Anyone? Burroughs in the Village

William S. Burroughs was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 5, 1914, but became involved with the Beats in the Village in the 1940s. He lived at 69 Bedford Street in New York City.

Here are some quotes from his best-known novel Naked 

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Revolutionary Road or Seventh Avenue?

Richard Yates, born February 3, 1926, lived at 27 Seventh Avenue South, at the corner of Bedford Street in New York City, just steps from Hudson Park Library.

Yates is best known for Revolutionary Road, a finalist for the

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The Voice of the Village?

Norman Mailer, best known for The Naked and the Dead and The Executioner's Song, was born on January 31. He lived at 73 Perry Street in New York City.

Perhaps his biggest contribution to 

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Thomas Paine and "Common Sense"

Thomas Paine was born 275 years ago on January 29. He died in 1809 at 59 Grove Street in New York City, where a plaque marks his passing.

Paine’s writings, especially Common Sense, helped the American cause in the Revolution, and John Adams credited him with a crucial role in the winning of that war.

Paine was not shy in 

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Edith Wharton at 150

Edith Wharton is 150 years old on January 24, 2012, still alive in her consistently popular novels. She lived at 7 Washington Square North in Greenwich Village, as well as other locations in New York City.

Celebrate her birthday by reading (or re-reading) one of her novels and taking a 

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Poe in the Village

A cemetery used to take up residence in the block bordered by Leroy, Clarkson, and Hudson streets. Jam-packed with stones, approximately 10,000 people took up their final resting place on this block. James J Walker Park now fills this space, and a single stone honoring firefighters who died in the line of duty over 150 years 

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Eyeminded People

Novelist John Dos Passos lived at 3 Washington Square in New York City for a time. His birthday is January 14. Written 75 years ago, his words seem as pertinent as ever:

In the last twenty-five years a change has come over the visual 

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Djuna, Did You Used to Visit?

Djuna Barnes, born January 12, lived her final 42 years at 5 Patchin Place in New York City, across the street from E. E. Cummings. A novelist, poet, and playwright, Barnes became friends with

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"The Prophet" in Greenwich Village

Khalil Gibran’s book The Prophet is one of the best selling books of all time and was written while Gibran lived in the Village. Gibran may be known as the national poet of Lebanon, but he lived the final 20 years of his life here, at 51 West 10th Street in New York City, among other places. He died at

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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 is defiance … ... 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 at him: He was a gentleman from 

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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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